A new foreign insect pest has been found in a north coast vineyard, and extensive trapping is underway to see how widespread the European Grapevine Moth may already be.
The European Vineyard Moth and the Light Brown Apple Moth have a very similar appearance, which isn’t really surprising. As Lucia Varela, an Integrated Pest Management specialist with the University of California Cooperative Extension, explains, both are members of the family of Tortricid moths, which is well known to California agriculture.
Non-native plants and animals that proliferate outside their usual range are often characterized as “invasive” species. Varela prefers the more neutral term, “exotics” to describe the moth pests, but concedes they may well come to be considered invasive, depending on how much of a threat to the area’s vines they become.
This picture shows two tell-tale signs of the European Vineyard Moth, the white “webbing” between the individual grapes, and the shriveled and wrinkled skin, which indicates that the worm has already eaten its way into the fruit.
For more information about the European Vineyard Moth, go to the UC Davis Integrated Pest Management website.