The use of sex pheromone traps for olive moth Pray oleae (Bernard) monitoring

The Directive 2009/128/EC, which aims to achieve a sustainable use of pesticides in the EU, came to reinforce the necessity of develop and implement effective strategies of crop protection to contribute for a sustainable production. In this sense, the suitable use of pests population monitoring tools is essential, and its implementation should be mandatory in farms.

The olive moth is an important pest of olives in the Mediterranean region, developing three generations per year that damage different organs of the plant: the phyllophagous generation feeds on leaves and buds, the anthophagous generation feeds on the flowers, and the carpophagous generation feeds on the fruit seeds causing fruit premature fall.

For the monitoring of olive moth adults the current recommendation is the use of pheromone traps. These are normally Delta traps with a capsule impregnated with a synthetic chemical compound, (Z)-7-tetradecenal, similar to the sex pheromone released by females to attract males. They should be installed before the flight of phyllophagous generationstart and inspected weekly. Data from pheromone traps are a fundamental tool in the monitoring of adults and respective spatial and temporal distribution analysis. They allow to identify the main hotspots of the pest and can be used in decision support systems, as a way to forecast the pest activity and determine its risk periods (see practice abstract entitled “Periods of infestation assessment of olive moth, Prays oleae (Bernard)”), helping in the decision regarding necessity and timing of phytosanitary,