Insect - Fruit Fly
Scientific name - Bactrocera cucurbitae
Symptoms - Fruit fly is a serious pest of watermelon and other cucurbits. The abundance of fruit fly increases when the temperature fall below 32°c and the relative humidity ranges between 60-70 %. Fruit fly wings has tiger-like stripes & large black spot at the wing tip. Fruit flies known to feed on stem shoots and buds of melons.
Damage - Fruit fly adults lay their eggs in the fresh flesh of fruits. The fruit fly maggots feed inside the fruit causes distortion and cracks. These cracks are as entry point for fungi & bacteria causing fruit rot.
Control - Spray Malathion 25 EC (25 ml/litre) 1-2 times at the interval of 15 days.
Management - Do not cultivate watermelon or cucurbits continuously at the same place because continuous cultivation lead outbreaks of fruit fly. Destroy all infested fruit. Frequent application of Neem can minimize the attack of fruit fly.