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2011 Highlights: UC IPM Annual Report

European Grapevine Moth
European Grapevine Moth

Outreach targets European Grapevine Moth


  • New products support grape pest outreach.
  • Moth numbers decreased in 2011

When the potentially devastating European grapevine moth (EGVM) was detected in Napa County vineyards in 2009, it triggered not only regulatory action but also a quick research and outreach response by UC scientists.

And the response continues. In the past year, UC IPM advisors Lucia Varela and Walter Bentley contributed to the development of an array of new products—including a poster, brochures, and online presentations—to help vineyard workers and professionals recognize insects that might be EGVM and take appropriate steps.

The products were critical pieces in approaching EGVM, according to Varela. “For early detection it is important to know how to identify this insect and where to look in the grapevines at different times during the season,” she added.

A Be Alert! poster, with labels in both Spanish and English, has been distributed throughout grape-growing regions in areas where fieldworkers might encounter the pest, to help them better recognize EGVM and its damage. A brochure containing high-quality photos for identifying each EGVM stage and a guide for monitoring for EGVM throughout the year also are available. A separate brochure, Guide to Moths and Worms in Grapevine Clusters, distinguishes life stages of wormlike pests associated with grapevine clusters that may be confused with EGVM.

In an online, narrated presentation, Varela discusses findings from 2010, California’s first field season with EGVM. The presentation also goes into detail about regulatory and control actions taken, what researchers learned about the pest, and insecticides available for control. A briefer presentation narrated in Spanish focuses on what signs to look for when out in the vineyard.

At the end of 2010, EGVM was present primarily in Napa County with very low populations detected in nine other California counties. In 2011, populations decreased to very low levels with moths detected in only five counties. 

Considered the most important insect pest of grapevines in Europe and the Middle East, EGVM can potentially cause great economic loss to the grape industry in California. To date, the UC response team has:

  • Produced critical information about identification, monitoring, and control strategies to the agricultural industry and to homeowners;    
  • Developed and distributed multimedia outreach materials statewide to help UC Cooperative Extension farm advisors provide a quick response if a new find were detected in one of their counties;
  • Sent out weekly alerts with the most current information about pest status and control;
  • Designed a low-impact pest management program to avoid potentially damaging secondary pest outbreaks;
  • Generated research data to inform regulatory policy; and
  • Collaborated with researchers internationally to advance knowledge about EGVM biology and management.

Varela played a key coordinating role in the effort, which was carried out by the larger team that, in addition to Bentley, included viticulture advisors Larry Bettiga, Monica Cooper, Rhonda Smith, and Steve Vasquez; Western Plant Diagnostic Network Training Coordinator Richard Hoenisch; UC IPM Associate Director Joyce Strand; and Cooperative Extension specialists Bob Van Steenwyk and Frank Zalom.

> Next article: Australian market opens—temporarily—for nonfumigated IPM-managed fruit

Statewide IPM Program, Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California
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Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California

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