10 Worst Grapevine Insect Pests: How to Identify and Treat Them

(Minneopa Orchards)

Nothing ruins a perfect growing season like annoying pests. One week, you’re looking forward to a healthy yield of grapes, and the next, your grape vine has suffered enough damage to threaten a future harvest. 

It may seem like a hopeless endeavor, but there are ways to spot and prevent grape vine pests from ruining your harvest.

Grape Berry Moths

Grape berry moths are small brownish-gray moths that are native to eastern North America. They are one of the most prominent grape vine pests in the eastern United States. After spending the winter in leaf litter among grape vines, the moths will then lay eggs on young grape stems. After hatching, the larvae will feed inside the grapes.

Grape Berry Moth

To spot grape berry moths, look for fruit that has ripened too early and shriveled. You will also see webbing from the larvae around the clusters of grapes. This often means that grape berry moths have fed on those specific grapes and hollowed them out. They also feed on the leaves and flowers of the grape vine, which raises the risk of rot forming on the vine.

If the infestation is not severe, simply remove affected grapes from the vine and properly dispose of them. In the wintertime, look for any leaves on the ground around your grape vine that have cocoons on them.

For heavier infestations, you can apply an insecticide before the point of grape veraison (when the grapes begin to change color).

Japanese Beatles

The Japanese beetle is another one of the grape vine pests you will see most often. Japanese beetles are brown and metallic green in color, and they feed on the foliage of a grape vine. With these pests, the leaves will often look like a skeleton, with only the leaf veins remaining.

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