Last month, ballots were sent out to Mesa County residents to vote on whether or not to add three new pests to the Upper Grand Valley Pest Control District for regulated species. Recently, Mesa County Commissioners announced that all three have been added.
The Grape Phylloxera, the Spotted Wing Drosophila, and Cytospora have been added to the regulated species list.
“Those are things that we knew could cause great harm to the fruit growing industry here,” said Teresa Ness, the Coordinator for the Weed and Pest Management for Mesa County.
Now that those three species have been added, it allows Mesa County to have more of a role in fighting the species.
“Now we can use funding from the district funds to help manage either through research, through trapping and monitoring, through education,” said Ness.
“It’s a very good thing, it’s an example of collaborative efforts between researchers county people, and local growers,” said Dr. Ioannis Minas, a Pomologist for the Western Colorado Research Center.
Minas has seen first hand what Cytospora can do to fruit trees, and knows that disease can cause a lot of damage to the local economy.
“This disease can cause 15 to 20 percent annual losses in our industry,” said Minas.
However, with this updated list, Minas hopes it will get everyone on the same page.
“This will enable us to diffuse to all growers the research findings and information to all the people that are being involved in the industry,” said Minas.