San Luis Obispo County is now free of a pest that has been the scourge of the wine grape industry.

Agricultural officials have declared the glassy-winged sharpshooter eradicated in the Central Coast county. The announcement comes three years after the pest was first found in a San Luis Obispo neighborhood.

A prevention effort was launched and the pest did not spread to nearby vineyards.

The insect can transmit bacteria responsible for plant diseases, including Pierce's disease, which is fatal to grapevines.

California's first major infestation occurred in Temecula in Riverside County in 1999, where more than 300 acres of vineyards were destroyed.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. Compiled by Cathy Bussewitz. You can send items to