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How To Battle Grapevine Pests

By Pierre Duponte

What kind of pests can threaten grapes and grapevine? Your vineyard, large or small, could come under attack from diseases, insects, birds and, sometimes, deer and other mammels.


The most common types of diseases are mildew, black rot, phomopsis cane, leaf spot and fungus. If your vine come down with one of these diseases, look for symptoms that will help you identify the problem disease. You will want to watch for vine leaf discoloration, a film covering the leaves, and fruit decay.


If your grapevine gets infected, a fungicide can be used to cure the disease. By investigating your plants and noting the symptoms your vines are suffering from - you should be able to identify what parituclar mold, mildew or fungus is attacking. Select a fungicide that will clear up the particular disease.


A certain amount of insect will always find your grapevine. Thankfully, vines can endure a whole lot of insect damage and only when a particular insect is overwhelming your plants, threatenting to destroiy them all, should you take action to get rid of them you do not.

Climbing cutworms is a general term applied to a large number of moth larvae that feed on grape buds. These night feeding larvae attack developing buds, young leaves and shoots, devouring all of the tissue. Damage is usually spotty...

grapevine pests
Other common insects that eat various parts your grape plants include Grape leafhoppers and potato leafhoppers. They Suck out juice from our plants, and like to feed on the undersides of the grape leaves. Damage appears as a yellow speckling, especially along veins. Growers do not usually treat for leafhoppers.

Japanese beetles, the shiny, metallic green beetle, are usually just spotty eater, but with heavy infestation they can be a major threat, and need control measures.

Aphids and the mites such as the European Red Mite also forage on grapevines. And the grape berry moth will lay eggs who larve bore into the grapes and feed from within.

Grape cane gallmaker, a beetle and the grape tumid gallmaker, a fly, will lay eggs inside of shoots. Fall forms around the larvae as they feed, in various places depending upon the insect. Treatment is not normally recommended.

While most insect attacks cause only cosmetic damage to your grapevines, any major infestation can threaten the well-being of your plants and may need some type of control to take place.


Birds can really jeopardize your grapevine, inflicting great damage to both the leaves and the fruit. You can have bunches of grapes, one day and find your vines divoid of frut the next.

A good solution to bird problems is the use of bird nets. Place a net over the trellis holding the vines. With the use of a trellis, the placement of the net is easy Remove the nets during the winter season and store for next year's use.

Visual Repellents are another option to minimize bird damage on your grape vine. Aluminum pie plates, artificial snakes, owls or hawks are popular visual bird repellants.

Deer: An additional type of pest is the four-footed kind such as squirrels, raccoons and deer. Deer tend to feed on grapevines during the early spring months, when food is scarce. In order, to prevent this problem, many growers effectively use odor repellants - such as soap, coyote, human or dog hair - to drive the deer away.

Squirrels and raccoons may occasionally nibble on your grapes and need to be watched out for.

Protecting your vine usually means that you must check them visually on a regular basis. If you have a pest problem, the first step is to identify the culprit. What action you need to take, if any, then depends upon What kind of pest it is and how much of a threat it poses.

About the Author:   Pierre Duponte is a wine making enthusiast. He spends his time teaching others how to make fine wines. For more great tips on vineyard-pest-control, on growing grapes or on how to make wine, visit

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