Integrated Pest Management in Gourds (Cucurbits)

Introduction: Hello farmers today we have a great informatgion of integrated pest management in Gourds.All these cucurbits are vines mostly grown under pandals. Various pests and diseases will attack from the seed stage to harvesting due to which losses may occur by reduced yields. By managing all these pests and diseases in an integrated manner at timely intervals we can reduce the yield losses.

A guide to integrated pest management in Gourds

By adopting the proper management practices in spite of increased yields, the quality of the product will also increase.

A Guide to Pest Management in Gourds.
A Guide to Pest Management in Gourds.

Major pest of cucurbits and managements

Pumpkin beetles:

Adult beetles attack the tender leaves which emerge immediately after germination and cause severe damage crop and also cause damage by eating leaves and flowers.


To manage these beetles spray phalidal 2 % or fenvalrate twice per week.

During growth of the crop, spray thiodicarp 1 ml per liter of water.

If the incidence of pest and disease is low collection and destruction are suggestible.

If the pest incidence is very severe, then spray insecticides like  Indoxacarb 14.5 SC @ 0.5 ml/l or Cabaryl 50 WP 4g/l or 25 EC @ 2ml/l or Chlorpyriphos 20 EC2.5ml/l.

Fruit fly:

Adults lay eggs on foliage after hatching larvae feed on fruits and cause damage leads to rotting by making them unfit for consumption.

  • By using resistant varieties.
  • Spraying of malathion at 5 ml per liter at 10 days intervals.
  • Apply neem cake @ 250 kg/ha immediately after germination to the soil and repeat at flowering followed by sprays of neem soap 1% or PNSPE 4% at 10 days interval after flowering.
  • Crush1 kilogram pumpkin and add 100 gm jaggery and 10 ml Malathion and keep in the plot (4-6 places per acre). Adults are attracted by the fermenting pumpkin and lay eggs over there and get killed. Repeat the process at least 2-3 times in the cropping season.
  • Erect cuelure (para pheromone trap) three per acre to attract male fruit flies and to trap them.
  • Spray CarbMix methyl eugenol + malathion 50 EC at 1:1 ratio and keep 10 ml of the bait in polythene bags @ 25/ha.

Use fly trap: Keep 5 g of wet fishmeal in polythene bags (20 x 15cm) with six holes (3 mm dia). Add 0.1 ml of dichlorvos.Add Dichlorvos every week and fishmeal renewed at least once in 20 days @ 5traps/ha.

Serpentine Leaf Miner:

It is an introduced pest that became a serious pest in many cucurbit vegetables. Heavy incidence is noticed in watermelon, cucumber, pumpkin, etc. However, bitter gourd seems to be resistant. Hemiptarsenus vericornis is a native larval parasitoid, is the major parasitoid on this pest. Damages the leaves by feeding on chlorophyll.

You should not miss the Crops Suitable for Black Soil.

  • Immediately after germination add neem cake @ 250 kg/ha to the soil.
  • Destroy cotyledon leaves with leaf-mining at 7 days after germination.
  • Spray PNSPE @ 4% or neem soap 1% or neem formulation with 10000 ppm or more (2ml/l) after 15 days sowing and repeat after 15 days, if necessary.
  • Collect and destroy all the infected leaves in case of severe infection. Then mix neem soap 5 gm with hostothion 1 ml/ liter and spray. After one week, spray neem soap 1% or PNSPE or neem formulation with 10000 ppm or more (2ml/l).
  • Never spray the same insecticide repeatedly.
Red Spider Mite:

This pest is serious on cucurbits during warmer climatic conditions. Colonies of mites within the silk web can be observed on the ventral leaf surface when incidence is high.

  • Spray neem oil or neem cake extract or Pongamia soap at 1% on lower surface thoroughly.
  • Alternately, spray insecticdes like Dimethoate 30 EC @ 2ml/l or Ethion 50 EC @ 1ml/l or Wettable Sulphur 80 WP @ 3g/l.
Sucking pests:

Most of the sucking pests help in the spreading of viral diseases. These pests feed on the young shoot tips and floral parts. Thrips are a serious problem during the summer months. Leaves become dry and brittle and fall off.


Soil application of neem cake (once immediately after germination and again at flowering) followed by NSKE @ 4% and neem soap 1% alternately after every 10 to 15 days of time intervals.

  • It can be managed by employing natural enemies.
  • Spray any systemic insecticides like Acephate 75 SP @ lg/l or Dimethoate 30 EC @ 2ml/l.
  • Using yellow or blue sticky traps at 20 per acre.
  • Spraying of neem oil 5 ml per liter in the early stages of growth.
Leaf Eating Caterpillar:

Long shining caterpillars feed on leaves and fruits.

  • Application of neem cake to the soil immediately after germination.
  • Spray any contact insecticides like Carbaryl 50 WP @ 3g/l.
  • Aplication of Neem soap or Pongamia soap @ 0.75% also effectively manages this pest.
  • Soil application of neem cake (once immediately after germination and again at fl owering) followed by NSPE @ 4% and neem soap 1% alternately at 10-15 days interval.
  • Spraying of Carbaryl 50 WP @ 3g/l or Indoxacarb 0.5 ml/l.
Root-knot Nematodes:

The root-knot nematodes is the plant parasitic nematode that causes root galls from the initial stages of the crop growth. The larvae feed on the roots and show typical galls, and later the entire root system shows heavy galls. The foliage turns in to light yellowish color; the plants become stunted and results in flower and fruit drop. In spite of irrigation, the plants appear sick and drooping during the daytime.

You may also like the Crops Suitable for Red Soil.

  • Seed treatment with bio-pesticide Pseudomonas fl uorescens @ 10g/kg seed.
  • Apply Carbofuran 3 G granules @ 1kg ai/ha at sowing and repeat after 45 days.
  • Apply 2 tons of Farmyard manure enriched with Pochonia chlamydosporia and Paecilomyces lilacinus per acre before sowing, along with 100-200 kg of Pongamia cake or neem.
Cucurbits stink bug:

It attacks all most all cucurbit crops. Generally, it causes damage by feeding on foliage sometimes it also damages fruits. The associated symptoms were wilting and drying out.

  • Employing parasitoids like Tachinid fly which attacks adults and nymphs of the bugs.
  • We can also use wasps of encyrtidae and scelionidae family for the management of this pest which are basically egg parasitoids.
  • Spraying of malathion one liter per hectare by mixing with 250 liters of water.
  • Rogor (Dimethoate) 1 ml per liter.
  • In this way we can manage pests of cucurbits in an integrated manner.

That’s all folks, hope you enjoyed reading the article about integrated pest management in Gourds. You may be interested in Growing Mushrooms Indoors.


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