vine to wine guide

Pest Control Of Your Grapes

red grapesAs with all plants, grapes are at the mercy of the threat of pest and diseases. The kind of pests that threaten a grapevine are birds, insects and domestic or wild animals.

The most common diseases for grapevines can be downey and white mildew, black rot, phomopsis cane and leaf spot, and fungus. Discolouration and spots on leaves and fruit will be noticeable if the vine does come down with a disease. Other signs of disease are poor growth or decaying fruit and mouldy fur developing anywhere on the plants. Should your grapevine catch a disease a fungicide can used to clear up the problem. But careful diagnosis of the correct problem is vital to ensure the best solution and successful treatment.

There are also quite a number of insects which have a particular taste for all parts of your vines but usually it would be fruit or the leaves which are most at risk. Different part of the world with their varied climates and local conditions dictate what kind of diseases and pests are most likely. A vital part of your success in growing your grape crops is to educate yourself on what problems you may face in your own locale.

Most of the time, it is only necessary to control insects when they threaten a large portion of the leaf area or the fruit itself. Insecticides can be used to control insect infestation but again it is very important to only use the right insecticide for the job.

Either single birds or whole flocks can inflict devastating damage to your crops of grapes. It goes without saying adequate measures should be taken to minimise the threat from animals such as birds. Of course outright killing of wildlife is not the solution and is very often illegal as many birds are protected. Instead bird scaring devices, netting or barriers are available and usually easy to install. Any kind of barrier must not shield your vines as sunlight and temperature are vital from growth and development.

Visual repellents can also be used such as reflective foil or strings of light plastic strips that flap in the wind to scare the birds away as do artificial hawks, owls, or snakes.

Wild animals, dogs, cats or roaming farm animals are also a pest to grapevines. In early spring when shoots are just emerging and food sources for the deer are scarce they will be a great temptation. Odour repellents can be extremely effective when it comes to discouraging animal trespass. A number of chemical deterrents are on the market for growers to spray around their property when required which will keep animals away. As with all things, find the right solution for the problem.