Thursday, November 27, 2008

Pests of Snake gourd

Fruit borer

  • the most serious pest damaging the young fruits is Daucus cucurbitae which is mentioned under cultivation of Ridge gourd.
  • the image above shows yellow/brown discoloration on the fruit as a result of boring the tender fruits. since the attack is major on standing crops, chemical pesticides should not be used as it will leave behind toxic residue.
  • using pheromone traps is the best & economical method to control the pest click here
  • spraying with neem based repellents can also be done
  • the infected young fruits must be completely destroyed as they contain young larvae which will emerge and pupate in the soil, thereby continuing the cycle.
  • soil drenching. treatment with chloropyriphos @ 2 ml per litre water can be done

  • Leaf eating caterpillar ( Diaphania indica) is the most serious pest where damage to the plant is highest.
  • the caterpillars can be seen on the lower surface of the leaves & feed on the young developing leaves, thereby curtailing the growth of the vine.
  • pupae in silken cocoons can be seen & these caterpillars when come in contact with human skin can also cause severe rash & allergies.
  • the plant appears to be wilting & severely drooping leaves is the sign of this pest.
  • if the area under cultivation is small, hand picking the pest using protective gloves is best. however if the area is large, then it becomes very time consuming. spraying with chloropyriphos @ 2 ml per litre and Quinalphos @ 1 ml per litre is very effective. But great care must be taken while spraying these chemicals as they are high in mammilian toxicity.
  • spraying must be done on the lower surface of the leaves & younger , tender leaves must be sprayed first.
  • in some cases, natural predators like birds feed on the caterpillars. so spraying must be done only when situation demands.
Photos and content by Pritham 'Heavy metal farmer' denzil dsouza

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