A new “weapon in the quiver” in the fight against the olive fruit fly (Bactrocera oleae) is added by the Greek Ministry of Rural Development and Food (YPAAT), as the introduction in the market of a new insecticide was approved for a number of Regions accross the country.
In particular, FMC’s Exirel® Bait is available on the market for the olive producers who wish to use it for cover spraying, in the Regions of Heraklion, Chania, Lasithi, Messinia, Laconia, Ilia, Argolis, Corinthia, Boeotia, Fthiotida, Larissa, Chalkidiki, Rodopi and Kavala.
However, regarding the inclusion of this insecticide in the national dacicide program, the Head of the Plant Production Protection Division of the Ministry Ms. Mavridou emphasizes that the product will be available for the Ministry by the end of next month, in order to carry out bait spraying in the respective Regions.
According to the Professor of Agricultural Pharmacology of the Agricultural University of Athens (AUA) and Director of the Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology of the Technology and Research Foundation, Mr. Ioannis Vontas, “this insecticide belongs to a relatively new group of agents, the diamides, which are characterized by good efficiency and significantly reduced effects on the environment, compared to neurotoxic products. It was effective in recent pilot experiments with olive fruit fly populations collected from Crete, which had developed the ability of resistance to pyrethrins. The availability of an additional active substance with a different mode of action contributes to the prevention and management of resistance in general. Finally, the specific preparation can also be used in cover sprays, with satisfactory effectiveness against the larvae, in cases of significant infestation. In areas such as Crete that are facing problems with olive fruit fly this year and will need additional actions to be taken by the producers, the application of this specific formulation is expected to help”.
Moreover, regarding the same issue, the Associate Professor of the Laboratory of Agricultural Zoology and Entomology of the Agricultural University of Athens (AUA), Mr. Dionysios Perdikis, a member of Scientific Society of Encyplopaedists of Olive, noted that “the existence of a second active substance to combat the olive fruit fly is positive, as it is not as easy for the insect to develop resistance, as would occur with the presence of a single active substance. At the same time, it is important not to abuse and to follow the instructions according to the product label. In general, the issue of the olive fruit fly presence is important this year due to the weather conditions, especially in Crete due to the winds, but also in other areas. It remains to be seen how it will develop during the next month“.
Exirel® Bait contains the active substance cyazypyr®, which is the only approved active substance against the olive fruit fly that acts on the insect’s muscular system, as it binds strongly to the ryanodine receptors located in the muscle fibers and causes the uncontrolled depletion of calcium (Ca++) stores. The successive symptoms it causes are the immediate termination of the food intake of the insect, general lethargy, paralysis and finally its death. In addition, Exirel® Bait insecticide can be a key component of an integrated pest management (IPM) program.
In conclusion, for maximum results, two (2) consecutive applications with an interval of 10-14 days are recommended. In case of heavy rainfall (>10-15 mm) after application, baiting sprays must be repeated. The maximum number of interventions per growing season is 3 sprays, with the last one carried out before harvest. To avoid the development of resistance, if additional sprays are required, it is recommended to use products with a different mode of action.