State and federal bug chasers say they have wiped out the European grapevine moth, which had threatened the wine industry in California.
Spraying, quarantines and other measures took care of a pest that had topped 100,000 detections at the height of the problem in 2010.
“It is no easy feat to eradicate an invasive species, especially one like the European grapevine moth when it gains a foothold in a place as hospitable as California’s prime wine grape growing region,” said Karen Ross, secretary of food and agriculture for the state, in Thursday’s announcement.
The moth, native to southern Europe, was first detected in 2009 in Napa County. It later turned up in San Joaquin, Merced, Fresno, Mendocino, Nevada, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Solano and Sonoma counties.
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Parts of San Joaquin and Merced were included in the quarantines in 2010, restricting the movement of grapes, stone fruit and other affected crops. They were removed from that status in 2012 because no more moths were found.
None of the pests have been detected anywhere in the state since June 25, 2014. That allowed the last of the quaratines to be lifted Thursday.
“This destructive invasive species put grape and stone fruit crops worth more than $5.7 billion at risk and threatened to close valuable export markets for U.S. grapes around the world,” said Kevin Shea, administrator of the federal Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
Seminar Aug. 30 in Stockton
Experts on organic and sustainable farming will share their knowledge at an Aug. 30 seminar in Stockton.
Growers of fruit, vegetables, nuts and other crops are invited. Speakers will deal with fertilizers, pest management and other practices that are part of organic certification or the more loosely defined sustainable label.
The seminar will be from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Robert J. Cabral Agricultural Center, 2101 E. Earhart Drive. The cost is $90 for general admission, $25 for students.
The event is sponsored by the California Association of Pest Control Advisers and the Organic Fertilizer Association of California. To register or for more information, go to www.capcaed.com or call 916-539-4107.