Either for its flavor or its freshness, the vine is a very typical Mediterranean crop that is used for gastronomic purposes.
The grape, its fruit, is used mainly in juices, milkshakes, or especially for the manufacture of wines and musts.
Like other crops, the vine is not immune to the appearance of insect pests that can harm the health of the plant.
Here we tell you the ways to prevent these pests, how to identify them, and of course, how to eliminate them.
The fruit of the wine
The vine, whose scientific name is Vitis, is a plant with numerous species whose fruit, the grape, is an oval-shaped berry and very juicy in flavor.
The best-known species of the vine is Vitis vinifera, characterized by the strain or trunk that has a twisted appearance. In addition, the vine is also composed of the branches, leaves, branches, and flowers that subsequently produce the grape cluster.
Grape cultivation is one of the oldest activities of civilization precisely for the manufacture of wine. Although it is unknown where it originated from, it is known that during the Neolithic wine was already produced in the area of Asia Minor and some parts of Africa.
At present, however, the cultivation of the vine is produced in many areas of the world, although there are some that stand out for the fame of their Denomination of Origins, such as Burgundy, Champagne, La Rioja or Rueda wine.
The cultivation of the vines
The vineyards or vine fields require a series of care that, although simple, can be laborious for people who are starting in horticulture or agriculture.
However, performing these cares correctly is essential and, in fact, is the best method of preventing the appearance of insect pests that can adversely affect the health of our plant. Here are some tips for you to know the cultivation of the vine:
- The vine needs a moderate climate in its cultivation since although it needs a breeze and cold, it also requires slightly higher temperatures depending on the part of the cycle in which the plant is located.
- On the other hand, when choosing the land where we are going to cultivate it, we must take into account that the vine requires a type of soil rich in potash, and that is not very wet. The best orientation is that which looks towards the sun since a greater amount of sun favors that the crop produced has a higher quality. Nor should it be a land with a lot of salinity or excessively limestone or clay.
- We must also take into account that the grapevine belongs to the family of vitáceas, that is, to a family characterized by climbing bushes whose roots also reach up to 10 or 15 meters deep. This data must be taken into account when choosing a land whose depth supports the future roots of the vine.
- Regarding irrigation, the truth is that the amount of water you need depends on many factors, such as the variety, the type of land, the lighting and temperature to which the crop is exposed, the fertilization you use and the driving system from the vineyard In this sense, you should know what kind of water needs your grape variety needs, since irrigation helps increase production, which on the other hand can affect the quality of future wine.
- The plot where you decide to plant the vineyard must be clean and free of weeds. This should be an obsession throughout the process since weeds could house insects inside that undermine the health of the plant.
- Finally, the most appropriate period to prune the vine is when it is in the resting phase, that is, between the fall of the leaf and the moment of sprouting, approximately in the month of November.
The pests of the vine
There are numerous species of insects that can damage the plant of the vine, and many of them are considered as a pest due to its great ease of reproduction and significantly increase its number of specimens and, therefore, the damage they cause to the plant.
Here we are going to talk about some of these vine pests :
- The most common pests are a good amount of insects. The pests they share with other fruits and vegetables are cochineal, thrips, beetles, or some caterpillars. These types of insects usually damage the leaves and young shoots, in addition to being a perfect way of entry for fungal diseases and infections.
- A plague of insects that deserves a section is the mites known as the red spider and white spider. They also cause damage to the leaves, although these are more typical of the summer season when the environment is warmer and drier.
- The plague considered most dangerous for the vine is the so-called phylloxera. It is a small insect similar to an aphid that, however, can cause devastating damage. Phylloxera feeds on the sap of the plant through the root. In the Vitis vinifera species, this species is deadly.
- Although it seems obvious, birds are one of the main causes of crop loss in vineyards. This is because the birds consume large quantities of the more mature grapes.
How to eliminate pests from the vine
The best way to avoid pests in working on prevention, or what is the same, stay alert to control in time the possible appearance of insects and perform all necessary care to promote good plant health.
However, if the pests finally arrive, here are some tricks to end them:
- Some pests are very difficult to eradicate. Phylloxera is one of them. In fact, there is currently no method to eliminate this pest. Only the grafting of European varieties on American feet is considered effective in curbing its expansion.
- In the case of birds, despite the most obvious remedy that is the scarecrow, its placement is not always effective. Therefore, you can try to place a protective net in the vineyards to prevent birds from pecking the crop. Other methods against birds are the placement of CDs or aluminum strips that reflect sunlight, and that usually repel birds in flight, preventing them from resting on areas where they are. However, these types of solutions have proven to be effective only in the first few days, as the birds gradually become accustomed and stop fearing these elements.
- Cochineal pests can be controlled by pruning the affected branches. You can also use some insecticide anticochinillas, although you should not abuse if you do not want the insects to become resistant to it. It is important that if you use the latter method, also pay attention to the larvae so that the treatment is more effective.
- Against insects such as aphids or thrips, it is quite effective to spray a mixture of water and soap that you can make at home with any spray container you have.
- Avoid excess fertilizer on the floor of the plant to prevent illness.
- To end the nematodes, you can prevent the disinfection of soils and substrates. If the attack has already been made, it is best to tear off the affected plants and burn them.