Grape root borer is a little known and little researched insect pest in Pennsylvania. Martin’s goals in this project were to determine: 1. the best method of trapping and counting the male moths so accurate counts of the total population are available; 2. if the borers have a preference for certain varieties; and 3. if the major source of adult male moths is from outside or within the vineyard. By learning this information Martin hoped to ascertain if mating disruption is possible with high numbers of pheromone traps in a vineyard, providing an alternative control measure.
Martin tested three different pheromone trap colors in combination with three different trap height placements. The traps were checked every three or four days from June 18th until August 30th and moth counts were recorded.
Analysis of variance was run on the trap data and showed that there was no significant difference in trap height placement. Green and yellow traps were significantly more effective at capturing male moths than were white traps. No significant difference was found in moth preference between Seyval and Vidal varieties of grapes.
Martin noted that 31 % of the traps caught no root borers at all, while 5% of the traps caught 25% of the moths. This indicates that even in small vineyards, there are areas of high concentrations of grape root borers. He is going to continue the study to try to determine if the grape root borers are localized within small areas of the vineyard. More research is also needed to determine if a high number of traps can result in mating disruption.
Martin’s work has been disseminated to numerous grape growers through meetings and industry newsletters.