Posted by Fernanda Lopez, Producer/Reporter - email
Mid-Columbia vineyards are now more prepared to handle a moth invasion.
PASCO, WA - Mid-Columbia vineyards are now more prepared to handle a moth invasion. The Washington State Department of Agriculture is setting up traps around the area in an effort to protect the state's booming wine business.
Workers installed four traps at a small vineyard on Court St. and Road 72 in Pasco. They are putting them up all over the state. It is a preventative measure to make sure destructive moths do not get into the grapes and so far so good
"We have four species of moths that we're looking for today," Mike Klaus, Entomologist explained.
Destructive moths like the european grapevine moth, the european grape berry moth, as well as the grape tortrix and grapevine tortrix could ruin wine grapes.
"Each lure is different so it's supposed to catch only that one species," Klaus continued.
Klaus is working all summer to set up these traps they will be checked every two to four weeks for any catches.
"The problem with these moths is they can lay eggs that then hatch into caterpillars so its actually the caterpillar stage that does the damage that would be by feeding on the leaves or the clusters of grapes and messing those up and reducing yield," Klaus said.
Some of these moths were first discovered in California back in 2009 in Napa Valley and posed a serious threat to the California wine industry so far they have not been sighted here in washington....
"it is a preventative measure, if we were to find something it would be a situation where we catch it early and we'd have more options on how to deal with it," Klaus said.
WSDA is setting up almost 2,000 of these traps in Benton, Franklin and Walla Walla counties and about 4,000 total around the state.