Sonoma County agriculture inspectors on alert after vineyard pest found in tree shipments

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SANTA ROSA, California — Sonoma County agriculture inspectors are on high alert after discovering a pest that has been the scourge of the wine grape industry in tree shipments from Southern California.

The Santa Rosa Press Democrat reported Sunday (http://bit.ly/1Db8WFV) that inspectors rejected a shipment of mostly olive trees from Ventura County sent to a nursery last month after finding eggs and exoskeletons of the glassy-winged sharpshooter.

The sharpshooter can transmit bacteria responsible for plant diseases, including Pierce's disease, which is fatal to grapevines.

Now inspectors are closely examining all shipments from Southern California plant nurseries.

The newspaper says most shipments from infested areas are sprayed with an approved treatment protocol that renders eggs unviable and kills adult bugs.

Officials estimate they find evidence of the insect pests at least twice in a year.


Information from: The Santa Rosa Press Democrat, http://www.pressdemocrat.com

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