Glassy-winged sharpshooters' natural tendency to fly between about 3 and 16 feet from the ground may help farmers prevent the spread of diseases transmitted by the pest.

UC Riverside post-doctoral researcher Matthew Blua began a study this year to determine whether tall mesh fences erected between citrus orchards and vineyards will stop the glassy-winged sharpshooter in its tracks. Last year, Blua placed sharpshooter traps on poles at about 3, 10, 16 and 23 feet from the ground. "Ninety-five percent of glassy-winged sharpshooters were caught at five meters (about 16 feet) or lower," Blua said.

"We would like to take advantage of that potential weak link in the system to keep sharpshooters out of vineyards."