Agriculture officials in Napa County are asking recreational and urban grape growers to strip their vines of fruit this year in order to help fight the spread of a moth that is threatening the region's valuable crops.
Stripping grapes off vines is being called the most environmentally friendly way homeowners with a small number of vines can combat the European Grapevine Moth, an invasive insect first discovered in the county in late 2009, according to the Agricultural Commissioner's office.
The request does not apply to the vines of Napa County's grape-growing and winemaking industries, whose livelihood the Ag Commissioner is trying to protect.
"The entire agricultural and viticultural community in Napa County is working together to fight this invasive pest," Ag Commissioner Dave Whitmer said in a prepared statement.
"Vineyard managers, winery viticulturists and Napa County growers whose livelihoods depend on harvesting their grapes have been treating for the moth with very selective larvicides and a cutting-edge practice called mating disrupting, which uses the moth's own pheromone to disrupt the insect life cycle," Whitmer said.
In addition to stripping fruit, there are organic and non-organic chemicals that are registered for use on urban vines.
More information on combating the European Grapevine Moth can be found at www.countyofnapa.org or by calling 1 (866) BUG-SPOT.