Now that the trees are nearly finished flowering, and the itsy bitsy teeny weeny olives are visible, it's time to think about keeping the olives bug-free. Since I don't use pesticides of course, I'm putting up glue traps, yellow colored greeting-card sized plastic pieces. I stopped using them for a while, my reasoning being that with other types of trees, plants, bugs and animals around, the grove would find its ecological balance. But after suffering a couple years with extensive fly damage to the fruit, I've expanded my balance theory. Meaning, that ecological balance doesn't mean everything that natures brings always in small equal amounts. It means that olive flies one year creates superior conditions for olive eating critters in the future.
Anyway, I decided to use the glue coated yellow fly traps. Being prohibitively expensive, I bought 100 and a can of glue to try and make a couple hundred of my own. Which I did by cutting up any yellow plastic I could find, as well as painting some thin plywood yellow and cutting it up. You can see my daughter Lia modeling one. Getting the glue on was quite a job. The directions said to use a backpack sprayer. So I put the glue in the sprayer, pumped it up, and started spraying. The glue was everywhere. And then the sprayer opened up and spilled. So I just used a paint brush. The glue seems thinner than on the professional ones, but we shall see how they work over the next few months. We have one type of olive, shimlali, which is not affected at all by the flies. They are a strong bitter olive, which I think keeps them fly-free. I am now rooting about 60 seedlings of shimlali trees, which I plan on planting in a year. More on that next time.
More photos of olive fly traps and teeny weeny olives in the photos section.
Click on the above RSS Feed if you want to be notified of blog updates!
I'm Dani Livney, a member of Kibbutz Gezer, and the manager of the Gezer olives. I love it! I also work as a lawyer, focusing on environmental projects and promoting environmental empowerment and education.