Mealybugs in Vineyards

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Mealybugs in Vineyards

Growers that have vineyards affected by mealybugs should confirm what species of mealybugs they have. This is very important for several reasons. First, we know we have grape mealybugs in NC, but there are 3 other species that may also be present on grapes, none of which are confirmed from the state. If we are dealing with a new species for the area, we need to know that. Second, one of these other species, the vine mealybug, is a very efficient vector of grape leafroll disease. The other mealybugs are not as efficient and are more of a problem as primary pests in clusters.

To this end, if you have mealybugs, you should contact your local County Horticulture Extension Agent to assist with proper collection of samples. Samples should be sent into the Plant Disease and Insect Clinic (http://www.cals.ncsu.edu/plantpath/extension/clinic/). Samples should NOT be sent directly to Dr. Burrack because she will be out of town several days in August and on leave starting in September. They will be handled much more quickly going through the clinic. The Agent should be able to help facilitate sending samples in. Mealybugs cannot necessarily be ID’d without microscope examination, so physical samples are necessary.

There are mealybug management recommendations in the Southern Region Small Fruit IPM Guide: http://www.smallfruits.org/SmallFruitsRegGuide/Guides/2014/BunchGrapeSprayGuide2014Final4_29_14.pdf

You’ll notice that these recommendations start at bud swell — there’s a reason for this. Mealybugs are best managed early in the season. At this point, they are likely sheltered in closed clusters and any control applied to them will have no effect. At this point, a good strategy is removing infested, sooty mold covered clusters so they are not harvested and to minimize spread. For early season treatments in the future, materials such as Belay, Applaud, Venom, and Admire Pro would be good first choices.

Written By

Photo of Laura Apple, N.C. Cooperative ExtensionLaura AppleCounty Extension Administrative Assistant (336) 342-8230 (Office) laura_apple@ncsu.eduRockingham County, North Carolina
Posted on Jul 31, 2014
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