Days numbered for the olive fly? University of Évora works for this

The University of Évora (UÉ) is developing three devices for the mass capture of flying insects in olive groves, namely the olive fly, the main enemy of olive and olive growers.

In the genesis of the project is Professor Fernando Rei, researcher at MED – Mediterranean Institute for Agriculture, Environment and Development at UÉ, committed to finding a way to limit the olive fly using mass capture methodologies, without resorting to traditional ones chemicals.

“The olive fly is a key pest in the olive grove that can reduce olive oil production by more than 90%”, adds Fernando Rei, quoted in a statement sent to Renascença, highlighting the “significant impact on the environment”, caused by the use of insecticides.

Thus, the devices proposed by the researcher, aim to capture a high number of individuals from the pest and significantly reduce its population and consequently its impact on olive groves.

The project led to the creation, “from scratch and with exceeded expectations”, of two models of massive capture stations, with reduced maintenance of functioning. They have the shape of a large cylinder, open at the ends and whose innovative inner mechanism makes these devices highly effective traps.

“These two capture stations have a similar external design, but they are internally distinct”, as “one has an electrocutor while the other uses yellow plates with adhesive”, confirming, still, “differences in the electronic and electrical devices needed for the its functioning, ”explains Fernando Rei, who is also a professor at the UÉ Department of Phytotechnics.

For the researcher, “the most surprising fact”, he stresses, is “decreasing the number of traps needed per hectare, from 57 traps of the Olipe type (plastic bottle containing compounds to attract pest insects), to the use of only 11 to 12 of these capture stations developed by the University of Évora. ”

The third mass capture trap, called “Horizontal-tubular”, has a smaller dimension and, according to UÉ, “uses passive emission of volatiles, being necessary to place 30 per hectare”, even so “Fewer in number than necessary for the Olipe type.”

The three devices developed by UÉ, with an innovative design and autonomous and active operation, were created to limit insects, in particular the olive fly, in all olive plantation regimes – traditional, intensive and super intensive. They are now awaiting the grant of a European patent.

Source: Renascença – Noticias by

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