Vineyard Wildlife Control(book excerpts)
Vineyards provide food and shelter for vertebrate pests that can cause significant through loss of fruit, chewing of roots, and girdling or trunks and shoots. Grapevine injury by rodents, rabbits, or deer is often more serious, killing the vine outright or causing permanent damage that lowers yields for years following the initial feeding. Some pests will chew or destroy flexible irrigation lines and emitters. Other pests will dig holes through the soil surface, thereby channeling surface irrigation water to undesired areas. Food safety also becomes an issue if pest residues come into contact with the fruit. The extent of the damage varies by region and vineyard due to differences in climate, terrain, and wildlife. The major vertebrate pests are deer, pocket gophers, ground squirrel, rabbits, and birds. Ideally some combination of habitat modification, exclusion, repellents, and lethal methods (e.g., trapping, toxic baiting, burrow fumigation, etc.) can be used to effectively control these pests in the vineyard, as well as maintain healthy wildlife populations and ecosystems.
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