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Help with Grapevine-killer bug

 
Luiz Eduardo Piá de Andrade
Posts: 23
Location: Curitiba, Brazil
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I just found out my grapevines (2 of which already died) are infested with Eurhizococcus brasiliensis, a ground pearl insect that attaches to the root and suck the plant dry and inject poisons. It is endemic to southern Brazil and has no known solution. Chemicals aren't very effective and its sole predator is the larvae of a fly (and guineafowl, but they're not very useful as they only scratch the surface). It is dangerous only in its cyst and nymph stage, afterwards it develops into an ugly flying insect. Also, it seems it partners with ants, that can transfer them onto healthy plants.

I understand few if any of you know this bug, but I have hope some permie-solutions you come up with or already know to deal with other root-dwelling insects will also be effective against Eurhizococcus.

Pictures (site in portuguese)
 
Mike Feddersen
Posts: 351
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Luiz, I wonder if one of Jerry Baker's potions would do thr trick? There are some videos on youtube of his. Tobacco tea, mouthwash, Palmolive dish detergent, he uses these and other household ingredients to kick bugs butts.
 
Luiz Eduardo Piá de Andrade
Posts: 23
Location: Curitiba, Brazil
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Thanks, I'll take a look, but then I'd probably have to soak the soil with it to kill the beast.
 
Jd Gonzalez
Posts: 205
Location: Virginia,USA zone 6
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forest garden greening the desert hunting trees
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This link points to a correlation between the ant Linepithema micans & the presence of Eurhizococcus brasiliensis.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23726055

Perhaps using boric acid/sugar baits mayl help by diminishing the ant population and transportation of the plague.

Also Bacillus Thuringiensis (Bt) spores applied to the soil might help.
 
Luiz Eduardo Piá de Andrade
Posts: 23
Location: Curitiba, Brazil
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I concocted a very evil potion with garlic, cayenne, tobacco and neem and soaked the soil around 2 especially sick vines. The worms didn't like it and wriggled to the surface (then I threw them somewhere safe). I really hope it works, otherwise I'd have killed a bunch of beneficials for nothing.

I've rummaged around the area but couldn't find that species of ant, but they do are endemic to the region, so maybe I should take a better look later on.
 
Mike Feddersen
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Luiz, please let us know how your vines are fairing.
I just listened to podcast 284 and in the last 10 minutes they were discussing a slurry the apply to tree trunks in an orchard that has worked wonders. Now I know you spoke of your problem being root based but what if something simple like this confuses the ants carrying the scale makers or maybe the flying adult that drops the eggs?
Also on thinking out of the box, if it is just grapevines being attacked maybe GOD is saying plant something else. I take that idea from the cotton farmers being plagued by the boeweevil. Nothing worked very well to kill this pest so someone suggested planting peanuts; not only did the bug not like peanuts, the farmers were making 3 times the money they had before with less work.
Something to think about.
 
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