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Industry Vigilant for Glassy-Winged Sharpshooter

It’s a problem that’s not going away anytime soon – at least in California. Glassy-Winged Sharpshooter (GWSS) continues to threaten the industry, although much progress has been made in managing it.

“We need continued support for the area wide spray program, which seems to be very effective,” says Kent Daane, Biocontrol Specialist, UC Berkeley/Kearney Ag Center. “As we learn more about the pest, controls, and natural regulation, then some regions may be removed from the area wide program. However, this still remains the best measure. It is especially important for citrus regions, where GWSS seems to be able to build super populations.”

Area wide efforts to mitigate the impact of GWSS seem to be working, but the industry is still looking for any signs of trouble on the horizon.

“Many growers are continuing to put out yellow sticky traps in their vineyards,” says Rhonda Smith, Sonoma County Farm Advisor. “To date, no Glassy-Winged Sharpshooter has been found in a vineyard in Sonoma County. The Ag Commissioner's office conducts inspections of plant shipments from infested counties and much more. So far this year, there have been no finds in shipments to this county.”

Efforts are ongoing to keep GWSS from spreading through transport of ornamentals throughout the state. In San Diego County where many invasive species often enter California through land and sea transport, entomologists are continuing to trap, monitor and contain the pest.

“We’re making every effort we can not to ship Glassy-Winged Sharpshooter out of this county on ornamentals or anything else,” says David Kellum, San Diego County entomologist. “It’s tough managing invasive species going in and out of the county because our climate is so favorable to any insect pest that hops a ride on anything coming in from Mexico, other parts of the U.S. or the Pacific Rim. Seventy percent of the truck traffic coming into Southern California comes through San Diego County, and we’re a major ocean port as well.”

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