The Black Plague of the wine industry, this tiny louse lives in a vineyard's soil and attacks the roots of grapevines, eventually starving and killing the vine. It originated in the eastern United States (where the native vines are resistant) and was inadvertently transported to Europe on vine roots around 1860. The result was mass devastation, with three-quarters of France's vineyards destroyed and vineyards around the world gradually becoming infested. To this day, no remedy has been found to eradicate phylloxera. It can be stopped (or at least slowed) by grafting European vines onto phylloxera-resistant native American rootstock, which, oddly enough, has no adverse effects on the characteristics of the European varietals. A new strain of the louse, however, emerged in the mid-1990s and wreaked havoc on Northern California vineyards (most of which had to be replanted at considerable expense, thereby jacking up the price of fine California wines).