Grape Pest Transmits Grapevine Leaf-roll Virus

By Tim Hammerich with the AgInformation Network 

Vine Mealybug is a pest that transmits the grapevine leaf-roll associated viruses. The University of California Ag and Natural Resources are trying to find better management techniques for vine mealybug. Statewide IPM Program Director Dr. Jim Farrar explains why.

“Vine mealybug is an invasive from the Mediterranean area and it’s more efficient at transmitting the virus,” said Farrar.  “And I think that we sort of didn’t recognize the great potential for damage when this new mealybug came in and was a more prolific vector of the virus. And so now we’re recognizing how important the virus is in impacting grape quality and yield.

“Associated with that, a heightened importance of this new new mealybug in transmitting the virus. And so now we’re starting to play catch up in developing much more robust management plans for vine mealybug and the leafroll virus,” Farrar said.

Grapevine leafroll virus can reduce yields, delay fruit ripening, and reduce soluble solids in the grapes.

For more information on the control of Vine Mealbug, go to the UC IPM website.