My Latest in Wine Business Monthly:
Vine Mealybug Infecting Oregon Vineyards
by L.M. Archer
Did you know that Oregon may suffer from a pesky vineyard problem?
Find out more in my latest article for Wine Business Monthly below:
For years, Oregon wine growers thought they’d dodged the vine mealybug bullet. However, recent studies prove otherwise. This small bug wreaking havoc in California now threatens its northern neighbor.
A recent Oregon Wine Symposium presentation by Dr. Vaughn Walton, entomologist at Oregon State University (OSU), outlined Oregon’s bout with the bug. Vaughn studied vine mealybug in his native South Africa before decamping to California to fight it. Fifteen years ago, he moved to Oregon to escape it. Or so he thought.
“The problem here in Oregon is that we think we’re insulated from the problem,” explained Walton. “We think that we have a climate that is not suitable for vine mealybug.”
However, studies by Walton and his colleagues dispute this misconception. Vine mealybugs prove subterranean. This means that they thrive below ground, where soil conditions remain stable, regardless the climate above ground.
A Bug’s Life
A soft, flat, oval, segmented bug, the vine mealybug derives its name from a white, ‘mealy’ wax that covers its pinkish body. Vine mealybugs differ from other mealybug species, such as grape, for a few reasons.
Male mealybugs, smaller in size than females, have wings. Males fly short distances several times a year to mate with wingless females. In winter, vine mealybugs lurk under bark, within buds, and in roots. As temperatures rise in spring and summer, they inhabit all parts of the vine.
Problems stem from the sticky, sweet honeydew they secrete, which drops onto vines, producing black, sooty mold…READ MORE HERE.
I’m pleased to share my least article in Wine Business Monthly with you here.