Exploring the efficacy of bioproducts in olive moth’s control

The olive moth, Prays oleae Bernard (Lepidoptera: Yponomeutidae) stands as one of the most significant pests affecting olive trees in the Mediterranean basin. This pest undergoes three annual generations: the phylophagous, anthophagous, and carpophagous. The latter two, particularly the carpophagous generation, are responsible for the most substantial economic damage.

The NOVATERRA project aims to significantly reduce pesticide use in vineyards and olive groves, mitigating their adverse effects on human health and the environment. In the Trás-os-Montes region, Mirandela, an olive grove was selected to evaluate the efficacy of two new bioproducts against olive moths from 2021 to 2023: one based on Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. kurstaki (Btk), and the other based on plant extracts.

Each treatment modality involved two foliar applications during the anthophagous generation. Inflorescences were inspected seven and ten days after the first and second applications, respectively, to assess olive moth attacks. In both 2021 and 2022, no significant differences in efficacy were observed between the bioproducts and the control (untreated). The results for the third year are currently under evaluation. Despite these outcomes, case studies involving alternative products to conventional pesticides play a vital role in developing sustainable solutions for pest control.