Insect Management for Cucurbits (Cucumber, Squash, Cantaloupe, and Watermelon)

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Insects and mites can cause severe problems in the production of watermelon, squash, cucumber, and cantaloupe either through direct damage to the crop or through transmission of disease agents, such as the aphid-borne mosaic viruses. Common pests of cucurbits are described below. The importance of a particular insect will vary by region and by crop. For example root maggots are more important in North Florida and melon thrips in South Florida. Pickleworm and melonworm rarely attack watermelon.

For each pest described, a table of management options will be found after the damage. These tables will be expanded as more information becomes available. Table 11, at the end of this publication, lists pesticides labeled for the major cucurbits grown in Florida: cucumber, squash, cantaloupe, and watermelon. Pesticides for controlling insects not described below can be found by looking under the "Insects" column in the table.

S. E. Webb
University of Florida, IFAS Extension