Critical Timing for Vine Mealybug Management

Brian German Industry, Pest Update

Temperatures are beginning to warm up and the season is reaching a crucial point for growers planning their vine mealybug management approach.  Infestation can occur fairly rapidly because of their quick reproductive rate, which makes diligent scouting a critical component for staying ahead of the pest.

Vine Mealybug Management

“The best thing to do right now is to make sure that you have your pheromone traps out there so you can monitor for the male flight,” said Manuel Jimenez, Customer Business Advisor covering Fresno and Tulare Counties for Bayer Crop Science.  “If you have a field that has a chronic infestation, which means that you had a problem last year with this pest, its best to develop a program in advance.” 

Controlling vine mealybug is imperative for preventing the spread of leafroll virus.  Jimenez noted that are a limited number of tools that are available for growers to work with in their effort to manage vine mealybug.  “The choices available now are limited to about two modes of action.  So, the Group 4A insecticides, which is what Admire Pro belongs to and Group 23, which is what Movento insecticide belongs to,” Jimenez explained.

April and May are two important months for implementing programs for vine mealybug management.  Jimenez said that applying Admire through drip irrigation at this point in the season will allow the material to be carried through the xylem system of the plant to the areas that may be supporting mealybug populations. Movento has also been shown to be effective against vine mealybug, with the suggested application time coming up in early May.

“The phloem is going to feed that shoot expansion and that’s going to transport the Movento to where we need it to protect against the vine mealybug,” said Jimenez.  “Another aspect of Movento is because it is systemic in nature, we need to use a spreading, penetrating surfactant to get maximum leaf uptake of that Movento so that we can mobilize the active ingredient to the pest.”

Listen to the interview below.

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Brian German

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Ag News Director, AgNet West