Grape Berry Moth Predictive Model

Grape Berry Moth Predictive Model

The grape berry moth (GBM) larva is a key pest that can cause serious damage to grapes. The larvae damage commercial vineyards by feeding on the grape blossoms and berries. Infested berries may appear shriveled with fine webbing. Damage increases mold, rots and numbers of fruit flies in both wild and cultivated grapes. There may be 3 or more generations per year.

Fig 1
Figure 1. The adult moth (Moth photo credit: R. Isaacs, Michigan State University) is small, active, and about 1/4 inch long. At rest with its wings folded, there is a brown band across the middle of the moth’s wings, the hind portion is gray-blue with brown markings, while the front portion is gray-blue without markings. The full grown larva is 2/5 inch long, pale olive-green, and can have a purplish tinge from the food it has eaten.

GBM overwinters as a pupa in leaf litter. Adults emerge and lay eggs of the first generation near bloom time. This degree day model can be used to time application of insecticides to reduce GBM injury. The degree day requirements were developed by Cornell, Penn State and Michigan State Universities. GBM needs 810 DD base 47°F to complete a generation. The date to begin accumulating degree days is when 50% of the wild grapes near the vineyard are at 50% bloom. Egg laying for the second generation begins at 810 DD and for the third at 1620 DD. Generally, sprays are applied 200 DD after the start of egg laying (200, 1010, and 1820 DD after wild grape bloom) for most insecticides, but the insecticide growth regulators (Intrepid) that are applied at egg laying should be timed for the biofix date, 810, and 1620 DD.

Degree day targets for the various
codling moth insecticides
Degree day target Action needed
Biofix – Wild grape bloom Begin degree day model
200 DD Timing for most insecticide sprays (first spray)
810 DD Begin of egg laying for 2nd generation, timing
for insecticide growth regulators.
1010 DD Second spray
1620 DD Begin of egg laying for 3rd generation, timing
for insecticide growth regulators.
1820 DD Third spray
2430 DD Begin of egg laying for possible 4th generation, timing
for insecticide growth regulators.

Pheromone traps can be used to determine the need for sprays and to monitor activity in addition to the predictive model.

Other Management
GBM form leaf-flap cocoons at the end of the season which later drop to the ground. During winter, the cocoons may be found in leaf litter and debris under the vines. Clean up or bury leaf litter under vines in the winter to eliminate over wintering pupae.

Fig 2
Figure 2. GBM forms a leaf-flap cocoon at the end of the season.

More information for Grape Berry Moth.

Under Calculating Insect Degree Days for Grape Berry Moth:

Users of the Insect Degree Day models must select your county of interest and a Biofix Date.
Simply fill out the desired parameters then press the "Submit Choices" button.
Biofix Date:

Ag Weather Center, Department of Biosystems & Agricultural Engineering, University of Kentucky