Biological controls investigated to aid management of olive fruit fly in California
The widespread and rapid establishment of the olive fruit fly in California required immediate changes in integrated pest management (IPM) programs for olives. After finding that resident natural enemies did not provide adequate control, researchers began a worldwide search for parasitoids, with exploration in the Republic of South Africa, Namibia, India, China and other countries. Parasitoids were shipped to California, and most were studied in quarantine to determine the best species for release. Two parasitoid species — Psyttalia lounsburyi and Psyttalia humilis — are now being released throughout the state’s olivegrowing regions, and researchers are studying their effectiveness.