The Q&A Archives: Bugs On Grapevines

Question: Some kind of bug attacks the new shoots on my grapevines. It girdles the shoot, which then whithers and snaps off. Each shoot is usually girdled twice at about an inch apart. The same bug then does the same thing to young raspberry canes growing nearby. What is this and how do I control it?

Answer: Borers will cut a double ring around the new tips of berry canes. Although I have never seen it on grapes, it is possible. To control it, cut off the tip below the girdling and destroy it by burning or put it in the trash to be removed. Continue doing this as long as you see the damaged tips. On a weekly basis, check your garden plants, surrounding plants and even wild plants in the area, too, beginning in late June and following through until September. The reason you need to keep doing it is that the borer lays its eggs in the cane and the larvae work their way downward over time, eventually reaching all the way to the crown. Pruning away the tip and the girdling should remove the borer and its eggs if you catch it early enough -- which is why you have to check so often. Good luck!

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