The Asian Lady Beetle is an insect pest new to North American viticulture, ffirst causing problems in the 2001 vintage in the country’s northeast. The Asian Lady Beetle is also called ladybird or ladybug in some countries.
These insects, which are normally considered a food indication in a vineyard, feed on sugar from damaged grapes in the late ripening period and are gathered with the fruit. They produce a yellow-orange body fluid when disturbed during the grape crushing process, tainting the wine with a musty, nutty scent and an astringent peanut-chocolate flavour on the taste. Taint can be caused by one adult beetle per 1.7 kg of grapes.
The insect was imported to the United States to control the soya bean aphid, and it has proven to be effective. However, during soya bean harvest, it may travel into neighboring vineyards in quest of sustenance.
The Asian Lady Beetle is now found all along the American east coast, through the central states, and in Washington and Oregon. As of today, no remedy has been found to the problem, which has resulted in the dumping of millions of liters of Ontario wine.
It has now been recorded in Italy, Germany, Holland, Belgium, and the United Kingdom.
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