Guru GyaanAgroStar Agronomy Centre of Excellence
Identify pests in muskmelon and watermelon and control them.
Many farmers have cultivated muskmelon and watermelon in this season. Fruit fly is the main pest in this crop. Also the infestation of leaf miner is seen. Let’s identify these pests and stop the damage from them.
1. Fruit fly: The female fly of this pest lays its eggs starting from the fruiting stage till the maturing stage in fruit skin. The insect coming out of the eggs is yellowish white in color and without head. They bore into the fruit. If the fruit is in the flowering stage, then the female flower drops down. If there is a damage in mature fruits, then such fruits start rotting and at last such fruits drop down. Sticky fluid comes out of the fruits where eggs are laid. This fluid dries and turns into brown coloured glue. This causes blotches, due to which the quality of fruit deteriorates. This pest becomes active in hot atmosphere whereas, in winter season it becomes inactive.
• Infested fruits and fruits with blotches should be picked up daily and buried in a 1.5 to 2 feet pit in the soil by spraying insecticide over them.
• Keep the orchard clean and after harvesting the crop, deep plough the soil so that the pupae will be destroyed.
• For controlling the adult fruit fly, make a mixture of 450 gm jaggery into 10 liters of water and put it for 24 hours. After that mix Dichlorvos 76, EC 5 ml, spray it once a week with big sprinkler to reach on vines when flowering starts.
• For attracting and killing the male fruit flies, arrange 10-15 Fruit fly traps having lures per hectare when flowering starts in muskmelon and watermelon. Hang them 1 meter high over the plant to control the fruit fly named bactrocera cucurbitae.
2. Leaf miner: Caterpillar which comes out from eggs, stays in between the two layers of the leaves and feeds the green part of leaf in a spiral manner. Due to this, zig zag lines appear over the leaf and the growth of the plant stops. In more infestation, the leaf dries out. Mix and spray spinosad 45% SC 3ml or dimethoate 30% EC 10ml or Cyantraniliprol 10% OD 3ml into 10 liters of water.
3. Red & Black Beetles: The insect which comes out from egg, damages stem and roots of the plant. It also eats fruits which touch the ground. When an adult insect causes damage by eating buds and flowers, the growth of vines becomes weak. Sometime it is also seen that adult insect eats leaves in circular shape.
• After harvesting the crop, land should be plouged deeply.
• Spray 1.5% (25 kg/hectare) Quinalphos powder in such a way that it falls on plant as well as on the soil. Spray a mixture of Dichlorvos 76% EC 7ml in 10 lit of water over vines and pour around the stem of plant and in the soil, so that it reaches upto the roots.
4. Blister Beetles: Beetles eats flower petals and pollen, due to which, production decreases. By spraying 1.5% (25 kg/hectare) Quinalphos powder the insects can be controlled.
In addition to it, the attack of aphids, jassids, white fly & leaf mites is also seen in these crops.
Dr. T. M. Bharpoda,
Ex. Professor of Entomology,
B. A. College of Agriculture, Anand Agricultural University, Anand- 388 110 (Gujarat India)