Moth forcing quarantine of areas in California wine country

Wine grapes in California are being affected by a quarantine.
Wine grapes in California are being affected by a quarantine.
Though farm equipment is normally associated with crops like corn and soybeans, it may also be used for grape farming.

And now, grape farmers in California are facing a pest that is causing quarantines in three of the state's counties. The European grapevine moth was detected in Napa County, which has led the California Department of Food and Agriculture to put 162 square miles on watch.

The first confirmed case of the moth's larva occurred on September 15, 2009, near Oakville, California. As a result, more traps were put out to try and find the moths and led to the quarantine.

A.G. Kawamura, secretary of the CDFA, said that the quarantine will help the state's No. 1 crop and keep the moths from spreading.

"It is important and necessary to protect our food supply and the larger environment from these invasive pests, so the entire community’s cooperation is essential and appreciated," Kawamura said.

According to the National Pest Information System, the European grapevine moth - or lobesia botrana - presents a significant threat to berries and other similar fruits. It is found across the world, including in its namesake continent, the Mediterranean, southern Russia, Japan and Africa.