Fidia viticida (Walsh)
Grape rootworms are native to North America and are pests of grapes and related host species, such as Virginia creeper and redbud. They are common from the Atlantic seaboard states to North Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, and Texas.
They are considered to be a species of leaf beetle, so calling them a worm is misnomer. Their larval stage is actually a grub and can be controlled by the same measures as for any other grub.
The main damage caused by this pest is the larval damage made when they feed on the plant roots. This is an ideal situation for an application of Hb Beneficial Nematodes. Spring and/or Fall are the recommended times of the year to make this application.Adult beetles emerge anywhere from late May to mid-July, depending on the soil temperature. They feed on the plants and leave chainlike feeding marks but generally do not cause much damage. The females lay eggs under the bark of grape vines and the larvae devour small roots and eat pits in the outer portion of larger roots. These creamy white larvae with dark brown heads are particularly destructive to vine health.
For more information please see our Beetle and Grub Control page.
Photo courtesy of Clemson University Department of Entomology, Soils & Plant Sciences, Cooperative Extension Service.