Pierce's Disease
Research Updates


What is Pierce's Disease?

Pierce's Disease is a bacterial infection, which is spread by bugs that feed on grapevines, particularly the "glassy winged sharpshooter." Grapevines that become infected with PD can quickly become sick and die.

glassy-winged sharpshooter

Distribution and management of citrus in California: Implications for management of glassy-winged sharpshooter

  • Author(s): Grafton-Cardwell, EE; Groves, RL; Montez, G; Sisterson, MS; Yacoub, R;
  • Abstract: The epidemiology of Pierce's disease of grape (Vitis spp.) in California has changed over the past 10 yr due to the introduction of an exotic vector, Homalodisca vitripennis (Germar), the glassy-winged sharpshooter. Although this insect is highly polyphagous, citrus (Citrus spp.) is considered a preferred host and proximity to citrus has been implicated as a significant risk factor in recent epidemics of Pierce's disease in Southern California. Consequently, a detailed knowledge of the distribution and management of citrus in relation to grape is needed to improve insect and disease management. Analysis of data on the area planted to these two commodities indicates that only five counties in California concomitantly grow >1,000 ha of grape and >1,000 ha of citrus: Riverside, Kern, Tulare, Fresno, and Madera Counties. Comparison of the distribution of grape and citrus within each of these counties indicates that the percentage of grape that is in proximity to citrus is greatest for Riverside County, but the total area of grape that is in proximity to citrus is greater for Fresno, Kern, and Tulare counties. The use of carbamates, neonicotinoids, organophosphates, and pyrethroids as part of the citrus pest management program for control of key insect pests was compared among the same five counties plus Ventura County from 1995 to 2006. Ventura County was included in this analysis as this county grows >10,000 ha of citrus and has established glassy-winged sharpshooter populations. The use of these broad-spectrum insecticides was lowest in Riverside and Ventura counties compared with the other four Counties. Analysis of historical trapping data at the county scale indicates a negative association of broad-spectrum insecticide use with glassy-winged sharpshooter abundance. These results are used to retrospectively analyze the Pierce's disease outbreaks in Kern and Riverside counties.
  • Publication Date: Aug 2008
  • Journal: Journal Of Economic Entomology