Authorities fighting the spread of a potentially devastating moth in California’s vineyards have been given US$1.75m in federal funding.

The allocation from the Obama administration, part of the Farm Bill, will go towards the trapping, detection and surveying of the European Grapevine Moth.

The moth, widespread in Europe and the Mediterranean, was unknown in the US until it was found at various locations in California last autumn.

The state’s Department of Food and Agriculture immediately established quarantine zones affecting Napa, Sonoma and Solano Counties.

Larvae of the moth feed on grape bud clusters or flowers, and if not checked will eat grapes later in the season, leaving them vulnerable to rot.

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Written by Richard Woodard