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Grape pest quarantine extends to Sierra foothills

FRESNO — Just as Napa seems to be getting the best of a grape pest that can spoil entire crops the tiny moth has popped up in yet another wine region.

On Wednesday, state and federal agriculture officials expanded the state's quarantine area to Nevada County in the Sierra Nevada foothills after traps there detected two European grapevine moths. It's the ninth California county where the movement of plants and equipment is now tightly controlled.

The discovery of the moths 60 miles northeast of Sacramento was a setback for agriculture officials and growers who had been celebrating recent success in controlling the grape-killing pest in Napa County, where it first was detected in 2009.

Spring trapping has netted just 90 moths in Napa as of Wednesday, compared to 70,000 caught between Jan. 1 and April 1 a year earlier.

"Growers have been doing a really great job of treating and really knocking it down," said Steve Lyle, spokesman for the California Department of Food and Agriculture.


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