PCAs Examine a Top California Grape Challenge: Mealybug

Brian GermanSponsored Content

MealybugYear-round, vine mealybug infestations can wreak havoc on all parts of the plant, including the roots. These tiny pests produce a substance called “honeydew” that resembles candle wax if found in large amounts and leads to the growth of black sooty mold on wine grape crops.

According to researchers at Oregon State University, vine mealybug and similar pests carry grapevine leafroll associated viruses. Not only can these diseases reduce yield by up to 40 percent, they also cause leaf discoloration, lower fruit quality and can affect production in future seasons.

Root-knot nematodes are another ubiquitous pest found in California vineyards. These tiny roundworms puncture plant roots, causing the formation of root galls. The knots make it more difficult for the plant to take in vital nutrients, which leads to reduced yield and vine vigor. Like the vine mealybug, root-knot nematodes can also be found year-round, never allowing growers a moment of rest.


Controlling vine mealybug and nematode populations is essential to protecting overall vine health. Vigilant monitoring and cultural practices paired with crop protection products can limit the impact of these damaging insects.

Monitoring for vine mealybugs starting at bloom is essential for season-long suppression. Researchers at the University of California recommend placing two pheromone traps for every 20-40 planted acres in late spring and checking them every two weeks through November. Growers are also encouraged to clean plant parts from equipment when moving from an infested area of a vineyard to an unaffected one.

Movento® insecticide provides long-lasting protection, posing low risk to natural predators, and works well in integrated pest management programs. Trials conducted by the University of California Cooperative Extension, Kern County, indicated that an early-May application of Movento led to a significant decrease in the number of vine mealybugs found on grape vines.

Movento® insecticide is a revolutionary tool to control mealybugs and suppress nematodes. Its unique two-way movement upward and downward throughout the entire plant tissue system, including the root system, provides long-lasting, reliable, allover protection above and below the ground for healthier vines and higher-quality fruit.

Movento has shown excellent results against immature stages of insects. It also manages adult female pests, reducing fecundity and limiting the survival of their offspring, which provides a more effective overall reduction of pest pressure. The result is stronger vines, improved root health and higher quality fruit. Learn More.