Chapter 21

Managing Vineyard Insect and Mite Pests

Rose Chafer

The rose chafer (Macrodactylus subspinosus) is a common pest in vineyards in the Northeastern United States.


Rose chafer adults attack grapes at bloom as they emerge from the soil. Not only do they destroy the fruit at blossom, in addition, they frequently skeletonize the leaves, leaving only the large veins intact (See Figure 21.21).

Life Cycle

Females deposit eggs below the soil surface and soon after hatch into tiny, white, grubs. The larvae feed on the roots of grasses and weeds throughout the summer becoming fully developed by fall.


Scouting for rose chafer within the vineyard should begin when newly emerged adults may be found feeding primarily on newly formed blossom buds.

Pest Management

Cultural Practices

Cultivating between rows may be effective in destroying a good number of chafers since the pupal stage is extremely vulnerable to disturbance.

Applying Control Materials

Treatment with an insecticide should be when the first newly emerged beetles are detected in adequate numbers.

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