The U.S. Environmental Protection has registered Clutch Insecticide from Valent U.S. A. Corp. for soil application to grapes.

The California Department of Pesticide Regulation also has registered the product for the same use.

When applied to soil, the neonicotinoid insecticide is taken up by the grape roots and translocated throughout the plant. When vine mealybug and other pests feed on the vines mand leaves, they receive a lethal dose.

Yet it is harmless to beneficials, according to a news release.

The key to vine mealybug control is to hit them early before populations build, move into the canopy and eventually the berries.

Valent recommends an April or May soil application.

Clutch has low water solubility, meaning it stays close to the root zone for maximum plant uptake without leaching or groundwater concerns, according ot the news release.

To prevent resistant populations, growers are encouraged to rotate products with different modes of action.

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