Grape pest in Merced County

MERCED -- The Merced County Agriculture Commission said it has found three European grapevine moths in the county, in a Snelling vineyard.

David Robinson, ag commissioner, said this is the first discovery of the moth in the county. "The moths were found in one vineyard, and the grower has already taken steps to spray for the pest," Robinson said.

The larvae of the European grapevine moth feed on grape flowers and developing fruit, and later generations of the moth will feed on the grape berries. That can cause the grapes to get infested with mold or fungus.

The first moth was found Monday, and was positively identified Wednesday, Robinson said.

Robinson said the quarantine means farm commodities grown in the area where the moth was found that may be a host to the moth will be put under a compliance agreement to ensure the pest isn't moved out of the area where it was found.