Grapeleaf Skeletonizer Poses Threat

    As if being on guard for the glassy-winged sharpshooter and the light brown apple moth weren’t enough, Napa’s wine industry is now on the lookout for the western grapeleaf skeletonizer.

     A state lab has confirmed that an adult male skeletonizer moth was found in a trap on Mount Veeder Road last month, Dave Whitmer, Napa County’s agricultural commissioner, told the Napa Valley Register.

     Meanwhile, three months after a first light brown apple moth was found in a Napa residential neighborhood, a second light brown apple moth was found in a trap at Highway 29 and South Kelly Road, prompting a quarantine on plant material leaving the area and the placement of more traps to gauge the extent of the infestation.

     “We will now place 25 traps per square mile in the nine square miles surrounding the find,” Whitmer said in a prepared statement. “We just can’t take any chances that the moth will become established in Napa County or that we inadvertently allow it to spread elsewhere.”

      Like the May find of a light brown apple moth near Solano Avenue and West F Street in west Napa, the discovery near American Canyon involved a single moth, Whitmer said. Additional traps will tell inspectors if there is a larger problem.

     The light brown apple moth is considered a major threat to the wine industry and also devours more than 200 other types of vegetation, including many domestic plants. The federal government is paying for the statewide eradication effort.


Posted in Wine and the Environment
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