Olive tree borer

olive tree borer, dried olives, damage to olives, borehole photoThe ​​plague called olive tree borer, it is formed by two species of insects polyphagous beetles of the Curculionidae family. Hylesinus Oleiperda (Fabricius, 1792), commonly called black borer and Phloeotribus Scarabaeoides (Bern, 1788).

The name “Borer“, receives it by the form of the perforations that it realizes in the wood, similar to a hole.

Damages caused by the borer

damage caused by olive tree borer, branch photo dry borer

Depending on the state of infestation, the damages produced by the olive tree borer can be minor or produce a considerable deterioration in production.

The galleries produced by the barrenillo in the bark of the olive tree (cambium), cause cuts of the flow of sage, causing the branches to dry.

The damages plus usual are: olives fall and sprout drying. These damages are usually dispersed and do not usually produce large losses.

When the drill causes the drying of important olive branches, the cause can be confused with the olive verticillosis, however, if we observe we will find small perforations (“holes“).

Borer treatment

The borer, like other parasites of weakness, preferably attacks olive trees with less vitality. We can fight the olive tree borer in various ways.

Improving the state of the olive tree

1.- Make a fertilizer that provide the minerals the olive tree needs.

2.- Perform support risks or other methods that avoid water stress.

3.- Apply rejuvenation pruning.

4.- Destroy the branches with symptoms before the departure of adult individuals (between March and May).

By performing chemical treatment

The use of authorized insecticides such as dimethoate after the fall of petals (May-June). The performance of such a treatment will only be adequate in cases of high infestation level.

The indiscriminate use of products to combat the olive tree borer can be counterproductive if it damages the populations of predatory insects of the borer (Cheiropachus quadrum, Raphitelus maculatus and Eurytoma morio). Therefore, the treatments against the borer must be the last control measure.

Making a massive trapping of borer larvae

Phloeotribus borer, olive borer, borer infected olive branchThe Phloeotribus borer is the most common and makes the laying on pruned branches from January to May.

Therefore, an effective method of control is to let the borer make the laying on the branches of the olive tree. After a few weeks of pruning, we destroy the branches before the larvae become adults. We can use both crushers, and burn the branches, it is preferable to crush the pruning remains to provide organic matter to the soil.

The destruction of pruning remains is essential to prevent the spread of the borer.

Types of olive borer

As we said at the beginning, there are two different types of borer that affect the olive Hylesinus Oleiperda and Phloeotribus Scarabaeoides.

Characteristics of the Black borer or Hylesinus Oleiperda

The black borer lays eggs in an oval and ivory color, between 0.5 and 0.8 mm in length. The larva is arched (thicker in the center or thorax), they have a straw-white color and reach 3.5mm in length.
The pupa is yellowish in color between 2 and 3 mm in length. This adult olive tree borer has a size between 1.5 and 2.5mm and is blackish color, hence his last name (Black borer). It is easily distinguished by its trident-shaped antennas.

Borer or Phloeotribus Scarabaeoides

Phloeotribus Scarabaeoides and Hylesinus Oleiperda borer
Phloeotribus Scarabaeoides (left) and Hylesinus Oleiperda (right)

This borer lays eggs with an oval shape and white color, between 0.5 and 1 mm in length. The olive grove larva has arched shape (being fatter in the central or thorax area), they have a straw-white color and reach a length of between 3 and 5mm. The pupa has a yellowish color and is 2-3 mm in length. The adult has a size between 2 and 2.5mm and is reddish with yellowish tones, the shape of its antenna is conical mace >.

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We have translated the information on our website from Spanish to English. Note that some words may have seen their meaning altered during their translation.

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