Olive Flies and Little Yellow Spaceships

One day last week we awoke to another sunny day here and hanging in approximately 20 % of our trees were these little Yellow spaceships.

Olive farming in Catalonia

Little yellow spaceships

They were not there when we went to bed. We knew what they were,  Olive fly traps.

We had seen them hanging in the trees of our neighbours in previous years.  They are placed on one tree in 5, towards the centre of the tree and inside them is a little sachet containing a Feramone which attracts the infamous ‘Olive fly’.  Attracts and kills may I say here!  This is a good thing.

The Olive fly lays its eggs in olives and as they hatches and turn into larvae they consume the flesh of the fruit. This reduces the quality of the fruit, as well as the weight.  The olives can still go for oil because as soon as the fruit is picked the little maggot drops out.

They had been sent and placed by our co-operative Soldebre, under instructions from the Dept of Agriculture advised to do so by the EU.  The reason for this being the huge rise in the population of these flies last year.

They work.

Sachet of chemicals and dead insects.

Sachet of chemicals and dead insects.

There were a small selection of bodies in the bottom of the vessel after a couple of days.  Fortunately nothing as precious as a bee has been collected.  This is a much less indiscriminate and environmentally friendly method of control than the mass spraying carried out by some Olive farmers here several times a year.

Our Olives are wonderful again this year and it is promising to be an excellent year to come on a Manna House activity holiday and Pick and Press your own Olive oil here at MH.

Three cheers for the EU.  Now that’s a phrase I never thought I’d say.