FRESNO -- Fresno County agriculture officials are asking growers near the area where European grapevine moths have been found to treat their vineyards one more time.
Farmers within the protective 96-square-mile quarantine zone in southeast Fresno County have been battling the destructive moth since May with increased trapping and bug-killing chemicals.
Entomologists say now is an opportune time to knock the bug down. The moth is in its reproductive cycle and will lay as many as 35 eggs a day for as long as six days.
"We want to try and stop them from developing into adults and spreading," said Walt Bentley, a University of California entomologist.
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The chemicals farmers use target the larvae as it emerges from the eggs.
"But if we miss that stage and the eggs hatch and the larvae bores into the berries, they become much harder to kill," said Ken Schneider, Fresno County treatment coordinator for the European grapevine moth.
If left unchecked, the moth can ruin a vineyard. "If this gets away from us, things will get ugly for farmers in the valley," Schneider said.