NYT: Discovery of European grapevine moth leads to quarantine of 162 sq mi in Napa Valley

Mike Quinn entomike at gmail.com
Tue Mar 16 01:35:26 EDT 2010

Grapevine Moth Forces Quarantine for Part of Napa ValleyBy MALIA
March 12, 2010

BERKELEY, Calif. — The state’s most lucrative crop, grapes, has yet another
insect enemy.


The California Department of Food and Agriculture quarantined 162 square
miles in Napa Valley on Tuesday in an effort to stop the spread of the
European grapevine moth, the newest threat to grapes and other fruit.

The moth was discovered in a vineyard insect trap in September, the first
appearance by the species in the United States, the department said. The
larvae feed mainly on grape flowers and young grapes but can also damage
some 21 other crops including olives, kiwis and persimmons.

A native of Italy, the moth has caused crop damage across Europe, as well as
in parts of Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

The European grapevine moth is the latest in a spate of invasive insects to
hammer California’s wine industry, including the light brown apple moth and
the glassy-winged sharpshooter. Because of its preferred fare, the moth has
grape growers particularly worried.

State agricultural officials have set up some 2,500 traps across Napa Valley
to capture the moths, said Jennifer Putnam, director of Napa Valley
Grapegrowers, a nonprofit trade group, which is helping to coordinate the

In the next several weeks, dispensers containing the pheromones of female
moths will go into the fields to confuse the males and disrupt the insects
from mating. Long-term eradication and management plans are still being
worked out, Ms. Putnam said.

“The time to get this pest is now,” she said. “This spring is critical.”

Full: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/13/us/13moth.html?src=me

Mike Quinn, Austin
Texas Entomology
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