Squash bugs, Anasa tristis (DeGeer), and cucumber beetles, Acalymma vittatum (Fabricius) and Diabrotica undecimpunctata howardi Barber, are important insect pests of cucurbits throughout the United States. Pest management strategies in watermelon, trap crop (summer squash) and at-plant carbofuran application were compared in 2000, 2001 and 2002. Squash bug and cucumber beetles were not abundant in any of the trial fields in any year and therefore the results are only indicative of conditions under which pest abundance is below recommended action threshold. The trap crop reduced squash bug abundance on watermelon. However cucumber beetles were more abundant on watermelon in the trap crop fields as compared to untreated watermelon fields. Carbofuran application reduced squash bug and cucumber beetles abundance on watermelon for 2-3 weeks. Carbofuran treated watermelon and watermelon in the trap crop fields produced lower fruit yield than untreated watermelon. Yield reduction was not correlated with pest abundance in watermelon. The efficacies of these management strategies for cucurbit pest management in watermelon are discussed.
Species 1: Heteroptera Coreidae Anasa tristis (squash bug)
Species 2: Coleoptera Chrysomelidae Acalymma vittatum (striped cucumber beetle)
Species 3: Coleoptera Chrysomelidae Diabrotica undecimpunctata howardi (spotted cucumber beetle)
Keywords: watermelon, pest management
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