- Author: Jeannette E. Warnert
Ken Wayne of the Fox Television affiliate in San Francisco, KTVU, interviewed UC Agriculture and Natural Resources environmental horticulture advisor Steven Swain for a story about the recent appearance of a glassy-winged sharpshooter in Marin.
The pest arrived in a shipment of nursery stock and was immediately returned to its source in Ventura, where GWSS is established.
"It could bring the industry to its knees," Swain said. "It could change the industry as we know it."
Swain pointed out that GWSS feed voraciously on plant fluids, causing a significant amount of damage.
“It's like a person being able to drink 16 tons of water. I mean, that's how much they can guzzle out of a plant," Swain said.
An even greater concern is the pest's ability to spread the bacteria that causes Pierce's disease of grapevines. The bacteria is present in the North Coast, and is spread by the blue-green sharpshooter in riparian areas. But GWSS is a much more efficient vector.
“Basically what they act like are flying hypodermic needles and we don't need a big population of hypodermic needles flying around moving this stuff all through the grapevines," Swain said.
View the three-minute video on the KTVU website.