DENVER (AP) -- State officials say an insect that attacks grapes has been found in Colorado's largest wine producing area.
The state agriculture department said Wednesday that federal officials had confirmed the presence of phylloxera (Fa-LOX'-ah-rah) in Mesa County's Grand Valley wine region, home to nearly 75 percent of Colorado's grape acreage.
The department says it and Colorado State University are investigating the source of the aphid-like bug and working with the vineyard owner to eradicate it. They're also working to determine the extent of the infestation.
The insect is native to the eastern and southeastern United States. It has spread to many wine regions around the world and devastated vineyards in Europe in the 19th century. According to the state, this is the first time it's been detected in a commercial vineyard in Colorado.