The olive tree is one of the most cultivated trees in warm areas or mild climates. Its fruit, the olive, is one of the most consumed foods in practically all the cultures of the world, although it takes special strength in the countries near the Mediterranean Sea area.
In spite of being a strong tree with a robust trunk and very resistant in its cultivation, like any other plant, it does not get rid of the appearance of pests and diseases. If you want to know what they are and how to combat olive pests, here you will find all the necessary information.
The olive, the fruit of the Mediterranean
The olive tree is a tree of ancient origins. It belongs to the family of oleáceas and is an evergreen plant whose fruit is olive or olive, delicious food that is part of the gastronomy of many cultures.
It is consumed as an ingredient of many recipes, either as raw, stuffed, broken or even squeezed food in the well-known olive oil, an indispensable food in the Mediterranean diet for its health properties such as reducing cholesterol or increasing arterial vasodilation.
The olive tree has many varieties depending on the geographical areas where its growth is grown and developed, although in most cases it reaches maturity up to 600 or 700 meters above sea level.
Some exceptions are known in Spain and Morocco where it is grown over 1000 meters high, but it is not usual. It is a robust tree that can withstand freezing temperatures in winter and prolonged droughts in summer with temperatures up to 40 degrees Celsius.
It is important to take into account the best olive growing conditions, and especially to know that it is a rainfed tree that does not need irrigation to avoid flooding around it and weaken the tree since this could attract pests and diseases to our olive tree.
As we have said before, in our cultivation we can find pests in the olive tree, so we should not overlook their care.
In fact, working on prevention and applying the necessary treatments against pests will help us keep our olive grove or our tree healthy, which will improve olive production.
Therefore, it is necessary to be alert to identify possible pests early and improve the results of possible treatments. These are some of the pests that attack the olive tree:
- The olive fly is one of the best known. It usually appears in episodes of prolonged rainfall and can cause real havoc in production. On the other hand, high temperatures or summer dryness will prevent the larvae of the olive fly from growing.
- Xylella fastidiosa. It is a contagious bacterium that causes a disease known as olive ebola. In Spain, it was introduced in some crops such as almond trees at the end of 2016, although it is currently quite controlled.
- The olive moth feeds on the leaf, the flower and also the fruit of the olive tree, so it must be controlled.
- The cochineal also attacks the olive tree. Specifically, that of the olive grove is known as cochineal de la tine or cochineal of the olive tree. It is one of the most common in the olive tree and damages the tree by pouring sugars on the leaves. These sugars serve as food for the Negrilla fungus that can cause serious damage to the health of the olive tree.
- The milkweed of the olive tree is a curious pest caused by insects that make forms of cotton appearance around the branches and leaves of the olive tree. Although it is a very striking pest that can scare the naked eye, the control treatments for this pest do not exist since the damages are usually of little consideration.
- The weevil beetle may appear in the development phase of new olive trees when they are being planted. In these stages the damage is done at night, so its appearance is difficult to identify.
How to deal with pests.
When identifying a pest, it is very likely that you notice it first because of the spots on the leaves and the fruit or because of the appearance of the olive tree, rather than finding the bug itself.
Therefore, you have to keep in mind that you must be aware of your tree and have it controlled to remedy the first stages of pests.
Here are some remedies against olive pests:
- In the case of the olive fly, for example, it is quite effective to set traps to control the population, but only if we catch it in time before it has reproduced too much.
- Some other insects that form pests, such as olive moths, can be eliminated through insecticidal treatments. Of course, remember that this type of chemical can cause damage to other insects or microorganisms benefits for your garden or garden, so in no case should you abuse its use.
- In addition to chemical control treatments, there are others with pheromone traps or yellow traps that attract the attention of insects. All these methods can be found in agro-garden or phytosanitary stores.
- Another effective treatment is the use of diatomaceous earth to apply to the leaves. In this way, it is achieved that there are no pests while protecting the olive from extreme heat.
- In case of your pest is very serious, the idea is that you contact specialists in pest control, especially if you have an olive grove of several hectares, since contagion is very likely.
- Finally, remember that pests often attack your trees in times of less health. This means that proper care and cultivation of your olive or olive grove will make the appearance of unwanted pests or diseases that damage the health of the treeless likely. Therefore, it is best to work on pest prevention to avoid having to resort to future treatments that do not always give good results.