Grape root borer


Grape root borer

Vitacea polistiformis (Harris)

Sesiidae: Lepidoptera

Adult grape root borers are clearwing moths with a dark brown body and yellow-orange bands on the abdomen. Moths are active during the day and are seen on vines in July. The female moths lay up to 300 eggs on or near the vine, and newly hatched larvae crawl into the soil and vine roots.

Larvae feed on the roots for up to 2 years (perhaps longer), moving to larger roots as they grow. Damaged vines have reduced vigor and may eventually die. This species is found in much of the eastern United States but is more damaging in southern states.