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White Flies Destroyed 90% of grapes! Help!!!
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thezef
5 Posts
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1
September 16, 2019 - 9:52 am

I'm going to admit to really screwing up bad, so maybe I can help someone else and get help for next year.

I live in Bangor Maine. I have 4 to 5 yr old somerset seedless and concord seedless grapes, growing on a wood-chip covered hill with full sun. we had 3 awesome years, but had lots of japanese beetles. So I put mosquito nets over the 3 vines: completely eliminated japanese beetles and still got awesome grapes, for 2 years. Unfortunately this year, I neglected to check on grapes at all until september: inside the net are CLOUDS of white flies (I think) and over 90% of grapes are either raisins or turning to light brown wood-colored marbles. the leaves are mostly pock-marked, as is the vine.

i want to do the right things now (eg. cut all the leaves off early? dispose of all leaves and dead fruits?etc.) and especially to stop the infestation cycle and get ready for next year. HELP!!!!!Embarassed

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John S
PDX OR
2593 Posts
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September 18, 2019 - 4:44 pm

I would think that the mosquito nets stopped predators from eating the white flies.  I would plant species that invite predators of white flies and Japanese beetles.

John S
PDX OR

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thezef
5 Posts
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September 19, 2019 - 4:39 am

John S said
I would think that the mosquito nets stopped predators from eating the white flies.  I would plant species that invite predators of white flies and Japanese beetles.

John S
PDX OR  

thanks john: can you recommend some plant species that might work well to attract white fly and beetle predators? (we're in Bangor, Eastern/central Maine)

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Rooney
Vancouver SW Washington
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September 20, 2019 - 1:27 am

Sugar ants patrol my grape vine every spring during the grape pollination period and are living off pollen. I have one single vine 5 feet tall and from there several more leaders hugging fence lines and the corner gutters. I have never experienced any fruit damage from insects, just racoons and opossoms which the ants can't do anything about the way they would eating insect eggs etc. The vines attract sugar ants through pollen but does not effect pollination, and the ripe fruit is not effected by sugar ants unless left too long to spoil or unless damaged by other means.

My suggestion is just current inspiration with the help of your whitefly experience that I have never experienced and John.

When I crush the ants they stink. So they are real sugar ants. I had to remove a noble fir on the other corner of my house as it made a big pollen mess on my car every year.  It's removal this past summer is expected to help curtail the issues of these kinds of ant outbreaks in my kitchen (so near to the fir) as well. 

Not sure why this double posted. If possible delete the earlier.

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John S
PDX OR
2593 Posts
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September 28, 2019 - 9:45 am

Some of the best plants to attract "the cavalry" are in the carrot family, Umbelliferae, also called Apiaciae.  I prefer those that I can eat, because I'm biased that way.  Parsley and earth chestnut are two outstanding examples.  In addition,  I am growing skiirret, which is also great if you have a midlife crisis and find that you are skirretually deficient.  Quiet time with loved ones also helps.

John S
PDX OR

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John S
PDX OR
2593 Posts
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September 28, 2019 - 9:59 pm

Also many plants in the aster family are good for this.

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thezef
5 Posts
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September 30, 2019 - 8:09 am

thanks everybody

with the nets down and colder air coming, the flying pests are largely gone. I brought samples of bugs and raisinized grapes and leaves to the university and apparently we also have black rot or black mold fungus (probably also from having bad air-flow around grapes with the net up...)

I'm heartened though that this all seems doable and correctable, and am anxious to try all these new suggestions for next year. We did wind up having about 10 or 12 bunches of pretty good grapes! (some are still ripening...)

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thezef
5 Posts
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September 30, 2019 - 9:02 am

IMG_1923.jpgIMG_1924.jpgIMG_1925.jpgIMG_1926.jpgIMG_1930.jpgIMG_1931.jpg

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thezef
5 Posts
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September 30, 2019 - 9:05 am

we've also got these little striped/mottled pests in addition to the pure white ones

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John S
PDX OR
2593 Posts
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October 8, 2019 - 11:32 am

Hey the zef,

I think with your careful orchard practices and ecological balance you should be getting much bigger crops and fewer pests over time.  That's the approach I've used and what I get. I've been doing it for decades.  Good luck.

John S
PDX OR

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