Management of Vine Mealybugs in California's San Joaquin Valley Through the Integration of Chemical and Biological Controls

Project Overview

Project Type: Research and Education
Funds awarded in 2002: $117,286.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2004
Region: Western
State: California
Principal Investigator:
Kent Daane
Division of Insect Biology, UC Berkeley
Walter Bentley
UC Statewide IPM Project

Annual Reports


  • Fruits: grapes


  • Crop Production: application rate management
  • Education and Training: demonstration, extension
  • Farm Business Management: feasibility study
  • Pest Management: biological control, chemical control, field monitoring/scouting


    The vine mealybug is a severe, new vineyard pest in California. Typical treatment relies on application(s) of organophosphate or carbamate insecticides. We investigated the use of less-disruptive insecticides, releases of natural enemies, and mating disruption as alternative control strategies. Results show a systemic application of imidacloprid or a foliar application of buprofezin reduces crop damage. Inoculative release of a parasite (Anagyrus pseudococci) also reduced crop damage; currently, this natural enemy is not commercially available. Similarly, mating disruption using a synthetic sex pheromone can suppress mealybug populations, but the sprayable formulation is not yet registered in the United States. There is great potential in both augmentation and mating disruption, which are being further developed for commercial use.

    Project objectives:

    1. (1) Improve timing, dosage, and delivery methods for “least-disruptive” insecticides (e.g., Admire) that target early-season vine mealybug populations.

      (2) Test inoculative release(s) of Anagyrus pseudococci in vineyards using “least-disruptive” insecticides and compare parasitoid effectiveness in vineyards with “least-disruptive” and “standard” organophosphate insecticide applications.

      (3) Test and develop a mating disruption program using the synthetic sex pheromone.

      (4) Involve collaborating growers, farm managers, and Cooperative Extension personnel in on-farm experiments and parasitoid rearing operations; conduct field days to extend information to a larger audience; and produce research- and grower-oriented publications to improve extension.

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.