After nearly four years' effort to rid the county of a vineyard-destroying pest, agriculture experts are declaring the glassy-winged sharpshooter officially eradicated in Solano County in Northern California.

"It is a good day for me when I can declare a pest eradicated that poses a threat to our agriculture products," says Jerry Howard, Solano County agricultural commissioner. "Our efforts protected the county?s burgeoning winegrape industry, and kept the insect from entering the grape-growing valleys in Napa and Sonoma."

The glassy-winged sharpshooter was first detected in Solano County during a routine trap servicing in Vacaville in June 2004. At that time, the county began an extensive trapping, survey, treatment and biological control campaign to contain the infestation and to eliminate the insect from the county.

No sharpshooter life stages have been detected within the regulated area around Vacaville since May 2005.

The biological control campaign involved the release of thousands of tiny, stingerless wasps to combat the glassy-winged sharpshooters. The wasps, about half the size of an ant, destroy the sharpshooter eggs.

The sharpshooter is of particular concern to grape growers in the Suisun Valley and neighboring Napa and Sonoma counties because it can spread Pierce's disease, which is lethal to grapevines.

The insect can also spread other diseases that attack other crops such as almonds, citrus, alfalfa and a wide variety of ornamental plants.

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