Surveillance of grape berry moth, Paralobesia viteana Clemens (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae), in Virginia vineyards
My research addressed pheromone lure design and the activity of the grape berry moth, Paralobesia viteana, flight and infestation across three years of study. In my lure evaluations, I found all commercial lures contained impurities and inconsistencies that have implications for management. First, sex pheromone concentration in lures affected both target and non-target attraction to traps, while the blend of sex pheromones impacted attraction to P. viteana. Second, over the duration of study, 54 vineyard blocks were sampled for the pest in and around cultivated wine grape in Virginia. The trapping studies indicated earliest and sustained emergence of the spring generation in sex pheromone traps placed in a wooded periphery. Later, moths were detected most often in the vineyard, which indicated that P. viteana emerged and aggregated in woods prior to flying and egg-laying in vineyards. My research supports use of woods and vineyard trap monitoring at both the height of 2 meters and in the periphery of respective environments. These conditions should improve grower efficiency when using trapping as a tool. Cluster infestation was assessed relative to vineyard growth stage and location in the vineyard. My results are in agreement with historical studies that suggest infestation is highest in the periphery of vineyards. However, I found that infestation peaked at veraison before falling somewhat around pre-harvest. This indicated that growers should manage this pest prior to veraison, perhaps as early as budbreak, to prevent the insect from reaching damaging levels when the crop is more susceptible to loss. Lastly, by combining field-based data collection with remote climate and landscape monitoring, growers can achieve a greater level of surveillance of P. viteana. A mash up of remote and vineyard-based data can provide substantive pertinent information for management at both local and regional scales. If one grower identifies moth emergence, then growers nearby potentially can use that same information to initiate models to monitor development of the moth population in their own vineyard. This research complements the notion that the more a community shares information, the broader its applicability becomes to neighbors.