Aphids overtaking my watermelon plants


Old 08-21-05, 12:10 AM
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Aphids overtaking my watermelon plants

Aphids are ruining my water melon plants. I've tried gently spraying the leaves with a garden hose but it just seems to turn over the leaves and scatter the aphids. I've also sprayed the tops and bottoms of the leaves with a solution of 3-4 drops of dish soap to a quart of water, but it doesn't seem to have any major effect. I'm trying to stay away from any insecticide. Any suggestion would be appreciated. Thanks.
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Old 08-21-05, 12:54 PM
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Go to your local well stocked landscape supply or online and puchase ladybugs. Put them in the fridge for a while to slow them down. Release at night. They will munch the aphids. They're also nice to look at.
Old 08-21-05, 02:34 PM
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Insecticidal soap will help control the aphids. Products such as Neem oil will kill them, without getting into the traditional insecticide routes. Aphids need control earlier in the season. Next time, start looking for them earlier.
Old 08-23-05, 04:32 PM
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Thanks for the replies. Saw the aphids early but there were only a few and I didn't think they would multiply so fast. Picked up some Neem Oil and have applied. Next time will knock them down at first sign. Thanks again.
Old 08-23-05, 07:28 PM
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Melon aphids (Aphis gossyppi) and several other aphid species attack cucurbits, particularly melons and cucumbers. Melon aphids vary in size and color from light yellow to green to black. Some are winged, while others are wingless. They are found chiefly on the underside of the leaves, where they suck the sap from the plants and cause a reduction in the quality and quantity of the fruit. Infested leaves curl downward and may turn brown and die. The melon aphid also is one of the chief agents in transmitting Cucumber mosaic virus. Usually, cucurbits are not attacked by aphids until the vines form runners.

Consider natural controls when making treatment decisions. Beneficial insects are extremely important in keeping aphid populations in check. Infestations usually are higher in hot, dry summers following cool, dry springs, which have reduced the efficiency of the natural enemies. In addition to natural enemies, you can spray leaves with soapy water, then rinse with clear water. Spraying with insecticidal soaps (such as Safer Brand Soap), planting in aluminum foil-covered beds and filling yellow pans with water to trap the aphids are also effective control measures.


Good Luck

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