After a long, wet winter, we are incredibly excited to welcome spring. The hills and fields are lush and green, the vineyards are (or will soon be) freshly pruned, the chirps and tweets of birds fill the air and the bees are buzzing about through the blanket of wildflowers that spread throughout Northern California. April is nothing less than beautiful in our neck of the woods.
As the buds on the vines start popping up, grape growers and vineyard managers are busy preparing for the next six to seven months of full-time vineyard babysitting. Factors such as weather, insects, rodents and birds will all need to be closely monitored and managed to help the vines survive, thrive and produce high quality grapes that will be harvested in late summer and early fall.
This begs the question, “Are insects and birds harmful to the vineyards?” The simple answer is yes and no. So just which insects and birds are harmful and which are beneficial? What are growers and managers using and doing to manage harmful insects and birds without using as many toxic pesticides and rodenticides? Let’s take a closer look at just a few harmful pests and their eco-friendly counterparts.