• Mealybug transmits leafroll virus.
  • Leafroll reduces yield, grape and wine quality, and it shortens the lifespan of vines.
  • We can never win the battle against leafroll disease if we do not deal with mealybug. We have the means and know-how at our disposal.


  • Mark all mealybug-infested vines now.
  • Apply contact insecticide with hand lances before budding to target overwintering mealybugs under bark on vine trunks and cordon arms.
  • Control ants.
  • Monitor mealybug throughout the season.
  • Apply systemic or contact insecticides when needed – note withholding periods.
  • Only a few infested vines in a block (<2%) – consider biological control.


A protocol for managing mealybug and leafroll is available in a series of user-friendly fact sheets on the IGWS website via


For information about registered products for controlling mealybug, contact your local consultant.


– For further information, contact Lucinda Heyns at or Elleunorah Allsopp at

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