How can we protect our vineyards from the dreaded vine moth larvae without using insecticides? These larvae can cause significant damage to our grapes and create gateways to disease. To contain the populations of this insect, we use a technique that is approved for organic farming. The fight by “mating disruption” is our answer.
In order to be fertilized, the female moths release of sex hormones (or pheromones) that enable males to locate them more easily. Every year, we place a number of diffusers that release a high dose of female pheromones in our vineyards. These pheromone traps confuse male moths and prevent them from finding their mates. Since there is no mating, the eggs aren’t fertilized, and don’t hatch. This hormone is absolutely safe. In fact, it’s nothing more than a reconstituted “smell”.
These diffusers are placed in the spring before the moth starts flying. There must be an even distribution of traps within the plot, the density being 500/hectare (or 200/acre). The purchase and installation of these capsules come at a much higher cost than a series of traditional chemical treatments. But for us the concept of sustainable agriculture is the only one way to be truly friendly to the environment while producing high quality wines.
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