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Reducing the Risk of Phylloxera Infestation

Additional Fact Sheets on Phylloxera:

Contributing List of Authors: Ed Hellman. Oregon State University. This fact sheet and others on grape phylloxera were produced as a set by a phylloxera task force at Oregon State University: Bernadine Strik, Extension Berry Crops Specialist; M. Carmo Candolfi-Vasconcelos, Extension Viticulture Specialist; Glenn Fisher, Extension Entomologist; Edward Hellman, Extension Horticulture Agent; Steven Price, Post-doctoral Research Associate, viticulture; Anne Connelly, Master’s student, horticulture; and Paula Stonerod, Research Aide, horticulture. The authors of this fact sheet acknowledge the help and guidance of others on this task force.

Phylloxera can be spread from vineyard to vineyard on soil or root pieces carried by workers’ boots, picking totes, vehicle tires, and other means. Infested soil also could be exchanged among vineyards at the winery via picking bins during the hectic activities of harvest delivery and crush. Therefore, both vineyards and wineries should take precautions against the movement of potentially infested soil. Prevention is one of the few weapons for combating phylloxera.

Prevention primarily means restricting movement of people, equipment, and materials among vineyards and thoroughly cleaning all items that come in contact with vineyard soil.

All vineyards should be considered potentially phylloxerated. Even grafted vines on resistant rootstocks can support populations of phylloxera and serve as a source of new infestations. A phylloxera infestation usually is not diagnosed until several years after its introduction into the vineyard. Therefore, controlled access and sanitation procedures are important for all vineyards and wineries. We recommend vineyards and wineries follow these procedures for to follow to reduce the risk of spreading phylloxera.

In the Vineyard

Jump to: At the Winery | In the Vineyard

Make every effort to restrict the movement of people and equipment in and out of the vineyard. When that is not feasible, be especially thorough with your sanitation practices.

Restricted movement

  • Control access to your vineyard. Do not allow entry without your approval.
  • Do not share tractors, trucks, trailers, or other field equipment with another vineyard.
  • Imprint the name of your vineyard on your picking totes and bins; accept only returned containers with your name.
  • Do not share picking totes or bins with other vineyards or wineries.
  • Load and unload trucks outside the vineyard on a paved or graveled road. Where possible, load grapes into bins or totes outside the vineyard rows so that the bottoms of the containers do not pick up soil.
  • Bin or tote design should minimize the possibility of transporting soil; for example, avoid bins with a waffle pattern on the bottom. Containers should be easy to clean.


  • Establish the vineyard with clean phylloxera-free grapevines.
  • Develop a set of standard sanitation practices for your vineyard, and instruct all workers.
  • Establish a sanitation station for people to put on or clean their boots before entering and leaving your vineyard. The station should include “loaner” rubber boots and a water tub with a scrub brush.
  • Thoroughly clean trucks delivering grapes to the winery before the trucks leave the vineyard.
  • Thoroughly clean all equipment, totes, and other items before they leave the vineyard and again before they re-enter the vineyard.

At the Winery

Jump to: At the Winery | In the Vineyard

Restricted movement

  • Restrict all vehicles to paved areas.
  • Inspect all vehicles for cleanliness prior to entry.
  • Restrict delivery trucks to a sanitation pad.
  • Keep picking totes and bins separate for each vineyard.
  • Do not share picking totes or bins with other vineyards or wineries.


  • Establish a concrete sanitation pad for delivery trucks. Wash down the pad daily during harvest.
  • Require that all vehicles, totes, bins, and other items be cleaned at the originating vineyard prior to delivery.
  • Scrub picking totes and bins before returning them to the vineyard.