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Insects Injurious To The Grape

The grape has many enemies of this kind, but if they are closely
watched from the beginning their ravages are easily kept within proper

The common gray cut-worm will often eat the young tender shoots of the
vine, and draw them into the ground below. Wherever this is perceived
the rascal can easily be found by digging for him under some of the
loose clods of ground below the vine, and should be destroyed without

Small worms, belonging to the family of leaf-folders, some of them
whitish gray, some bluish green, will in spring make their webs among
the young, downy leaves at the end of the shoots, eating the young
bunches or buttons, and the leaves. These can be destroyed when summer
pruning for the first time. Look close for them, as they are very
small; yet very destructive if let alone.

A small, gray beetle, of about the size and color of a hemp-seed, will
often eat a hole into the bud, when it is just swelling, and thus
destroy it. He is very shy, and will drop from the vine as soon as you
come near him. It is a good plan to spread a newspaper under the vine,
and then shake it, when he will drop on the paper and can be caught.

Another bug, of about the size of a fly, gray, with round black specks,
will sometimes pay us a visit. They will come in swarms, and eat the
upper side of the leaves, leaving only the skeletons. They are very
destructive, devouring every leaf, as far as they go; they can also be
shaken off on a paper or sheet spread under the vine.

The thrip, a small, rather three-cornered, whitish-green insect, has of
late been very troublesome, as they eat the under side of the leaves of
some varieties, especially the Delaware and Norton's Virginia, when the
leaf will show rusty specks on the surface, and finally drop off. It
has been recommended to go through the vineyard at night, one man
carrying a lighted torch, and the other beating the vines, when they
will fly into the flame, and be burnt. They are a great annoyance, and
have defoliated whole vineyards here last fall.

Another leaf-folder makes his appearance about mid-summer, making its
web on the leaf, drawing it together, and then devouring his own house.
It is a small, greenish, and very active worm, who, if he "smells a
rat," will drop out of his web, and descend to the ground in
double-quick time. I know of no other plan, than to catch him and crush
his web between the finger and thumb.

The aphis, or plant louse, often covers the young shoots of the vine,
sucking its juices. When a shoot is attacked by them, it will be best
to take it off and crush them under your feet, as the shoot is apt to
be sickly afterwards, any way.

The grape vine sphynx will be found occasionally. It is a large, green
worm, with black dots, and very voracious. Fortunately, it is not
numerous, and can easily be found and destroyed.

There are also several caterpillars--the yellow bear, the hog
caterpillar, and the blue caterpillar, which will feed upon the leaves.
The only remedy I know against them is hand picking, but they have not
as yet been very numerous, nor very destructive.

Wasps are sometimes very troublesome when the fruit ripens, stinging
the berries and sucking the juice. A great many can be caught by
hanging up bottles, with a little molasses, which they will enter, and
get stuck in the molasses.

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Previous: Diseases Of The Vine

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