Q How do I recognise woolly vine scale?
A They are dark-brown scale insects, up to 6mm long, which appear on the stems and feed by sucking the sap. Towards the end of spring, the insects mature, and the females produce a thick mass of waxy white fibres containing minute eggs, which can be seen around the insects. The young then move to the leaves to feed before moving back to the stems. The insects produce sticky honeydew, which attracts a coating of black sooty moulds. If the infestation is heavy, the grapevines will start to lose vigour.
Q What can I do if my grapevine has woolly vine scale?
A As well as removing the pest, it's worth spraying infested grapevines with a suitable insecticide. Keep them well fed and watered to increase their vigour.
Q What can I do to prevent woolly vine scale attacks?
A Keep a close watch on the grapevine and other host plants, such as currants, gooseberries and pyracanthas, and remove any scales as soon as you see them. The eggs will be held in the waxy fibres, so remove those too.
Caption: Watch out for woolly vine scale on other host plants, such as gooseberry