OLIPE trap

OLIPE trap
Placing an Olipe olive fly trapThe emblem of the Organic Olive grove is simplicity. A simple device that the Olivarera Los Pedroches SCA, with its studies and tests, was made available to organic farmers as an example of tools that they could make themselves. These tolls have been very efficient in controlling the Olive fruit fly (Bactrocera oleae Gmel.)
New techniques in the production of organic olives were developed due to the entry of most of the associates of the Olivarera Los Pedroches SCA. The development of these techniques called for ingenuity and has improved new practices, both for fertilization and for pest and disease control. At the beginning the case of the olive fruit fly (Bactrocera oleae) caused major difficulties but the development of the Olipe fly trap created an easy, cheap and affordable solution for the organic olive-grower; from there its use has spread widely and quickly.
What is the Olipe Trap.
‘Mass trapping’ involves placing a certain number of Olipe traps to reduce the population of the olive fruit fly (Bactrocera oleae Gmel.) and decrease its impact on the fruit.
Olipe olive fly trapThe Olipe trap is made from a 1.5L or 2L plastic bottle with 4 or 5 5mm diameter holes in the upper part - this size of holes helps avoid beneficial insects such as lacewings, bees, etc. entering the bottle. The trap is filled with water and food to attract the olive fruit fly: 3% diammonium phosphate and other commercial substances such as hidrolyzed proteins or natural substances such as vinegar, wine vinasse, etc. It is also possible to use sexual attractors such as micro capsules of pheromones dissolved in water.
The fly is attracted by the smells and enters the bottle but cannot find the exit because the bottle is transparent thus, it gets caught.
On average there are between 50 and 70 traps per hectare depending on the size and number of trees.
They are preferably placed on the north side of the tree, in order to avoid the sun cause a higher rate of water evaporation.
There are many advantages to the Olipe trap in addition to the efficiency, it has a low cost and is easy for the olive-grower to make. The captures are easily perceived and it is possible to use the trap as a monitoring system. It also has environmental advantages as it does not use any pesticides because the fly dies by drowning in the water and the plastic bottle is made from a recyclable material.
History of the Olipe trap.
One of our associates observed the crystal fly trap (McPhail) that a field technician used for the monitoring and counting of the olive fruit fly populations. He had the idea to introduce the diammonium phosphate that the technician used for the crystal fly trap as in a plastic 2L orange Fanta bottle as an incentive for the flies, he then made some holes in the upper part for the fly to enter by.
This associate left this first trap at the edge of a road (“Los Chivatiles”) where the technician passed to check all the monitoring points, each time he would check if the bottle was able to capture olive fruit flies.
The result was promising and we considered conducting an experiment on a larger scale using ‘mass trapping’ to observe if the traps could be used over larger areas.
First testsJuan Antonio Caballero with Enrique Vargas at the beginning of the Olipe olive fly trap.
In 1998, some tests were made by the Service of the Vegetable Health of Cordoba using different methods to control the olive fruit fly using traps which were developed in other countries on a large scale. Tests were also conducted over 5 seasons using the Olipe trap, which got its name because it was developed in the heart of the Olivarera Los Pedroches SCA, also known as the extra virgin olive oil brand “Olipe”. The support of Sir Manuel Altolaguirre - the director of the Department of the Vegetable Health of Cordoba during that time - in the development of a system which, at the start, did not appear to hold up under scientific analysis as it was made of a plastic bottle with some holes in it, should be noted and acknowledged. This trap was compared with other, more sophisticated, traps developed by large companies. The results were worthwhile as they widely demonstrated the Olipe trap’s efficiency as well as showing it to be lower in cost and more accessible for the olive-grower.
Recognition of work done
The tests were the topic of different research studies in the technical department of the Cooperative, and it was recognised with numerous research awards (Ecoliva 2000 and Accésit Andrés Núñez de Prado 2000). Some works Andrés Núñez de Prado Rewardhave also been published in scientific conferences such as Expoliva and Ecoliva where it was widely accepted on a technical level. This meant that ‘mass trapping’ was recognised by the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries of Andalusia as the official treatment of the olive fruit fly, expanding its use even more.
Other regions also accepted this system as the most valid to control the olive fruit fly population in organic olive groves.
Indeed many research institutes created their own versions of the system although they kept calling them Olipe traps like the original. These institutes and other organisations conducted some tests regarding the effectiveness of the Olipe trap in different areas; there are even some studies carried out by the University of California for its use in the olive groves there.
However, the greatest recognition must go to the organic olive-growers because, thanks to them, the use of the traps has been widened.
Olipe trap success.
The large expansion in use of the trap is due to two basic aspects: efficiency and simplicity. The efficiency has been demonstrated by the numerous tests conducted by different bodies and centres which have confirmed it is an effective method for controlling the olive fruit fly.
However, the simplicity is the essential part, as the trap is made by the olive-grower. With its studies and reach the Olivarera Los Pedroches SCA gave olive-growers a model of an efficient tool. We do not sell the Olipe trap because it is made by the olive-grower.
The future of the Olipe trap
The Cooperative has been developing further studies regarding the Olipe trap, from its selection of auxiliary insects to the capacity to increase captures. Others studies have been carried out by other researchers from the Zaidin CSIC, Granada research body. In conclusion, an “improved” model of the Olipe trap has been developed that bolsters its current advantages and balances out the disadvantages possessed by the original. This trap will shortly be marketed to be better adapted to the needs of the organic olive-growers.



Image gallery

Placing an Olipe trap
Results of the Olipe trap
Olipe trap


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