Growers are dealing with a vineyard pest in the coastal and northern regions. Sabrina Hill has more.
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The Virginia creeper leafhopper is now at home in some northern California vineyards. It’s a relative to the Western grape leafhopper, and was first found in California about 30 years ago. In that time, the pest has increased its ground from just Butte County, spreading up to the Oregon border and down to about Sacramento. Growers have also found them in Lake, Solano, Mendocino and Yolo Counties.
According to UC IPM and Plant Science Advisors, the Virginia creeper leafhopper looks very much like the Western grape leafhopper, and has a similar life cycle. But there is a major difference separating the two. The Western grape leafhopper is well controlled by a complex of egg parasites – and the Virginia creeper leafhopper is not. Insecticides have proven very useful in fighting both species, but there are little options for organic growers.
The UC has a photo and videos of the two species online. Click here for the UC website.