Management of Fruit flies in Melon (Watermelon, muskmelon)




Watermelon and muskmelon crops are hosts of different insects which may cause crop loss. Melon Fruit flies [Bactrocera cucurbitae], is one of the most important insects which attck on the fruits of both watermelon and muskmelon crops.

Symptoms of infestation

  • Holes on the fruits are observed where the maggot of fruit flies would have entered.
  • Resinous fluid ooze out is observed at the place of hole and adjacent area.
  • Fruit flies’ infested fruits will be usually malformed and many time distorted.
  • Fruits may drop off even before maturing
    • Fruit flies actually will not damage the fruits of melon rather their maggots are the damaging stage.
    • The adult lays fertilized eggs on the young fruits or in/on flowers as well.
    • The eggs hatch out in to maggots which get inside the fruits and start feeding on the pulp.
    • The melon fruit fly remains active throughout the year on one or the other host.


    Management of Fruit fly:

    1. Field sanitation

    The most effective method in melon fruit fly management uses primary component- field sanitation. To break the reproduction cycle and population increase, growers need to remove all unharvested fruits or vegetables from a field by completely burying them deep into the soil. Burying damaged fruits 0.46 m deep in the soil prevents adult fly elusion and reduces population increase 

    1. Use of Yellow glue- sticky trap

    Scientific studies on insect behaviors have reported that yellow colour is attracted by various insects especially adult flies and moths. Some of the insect species to name are fruit flies, gnats, white flies, aphids, leafhoppers, leaf miners, fungus gnats, thrips, other flying pests.

  • So to trap the fruit flies and avoid egg laying, yellow coloured sheets (Usually tough paper) are applied with gum or oil and tied in the melon crop fields at the flowering stagae and maintained till harvesting. The fruit flies get attracted to yellow colour, as they approach the gum applied sheets, the gravid flies will get sticked and will be killed.

  • The fertilized (post mating) and unfertilized (Pre mating flies) both will get attracted to yellow colour will be killed as they find difficult to get rid off from the gum sheets.

    The trapping can largely avoid the egg laying numbers on the melon crops’ flowers and fruits.

  • Use of Para pheromone traps with lure
  • .

  • Melon Fruit flies[Bactrocera cucurbitae], female adults flies after mating lay eggs on the mlon crops’ flowers and  young fruits. The eggs hatch out as maggots and enter and enter inside and starts feeding on the pulp.

  • It is for sure only fertilized eggs tend to hatch out which are laid with proper copulation or mating. Adult flies’ [both male and female] emergence and egg laying happen in very short time and within that short time the mating has to happen. Within this time, if there is any disruption in copulation, the flies lay only unfertilised eggs which won’t fertilize and maggots never emerge out. One of the way to avoid the fertilisation is disrupting the mating.
  • Para pheromone (sex attractants) traps with female scent mimics are used to lure and attract male melon fruit flies at one place and kill them avoiding mating with females. This reduces the chances of females having copulation and lay the fertilised eggs where the maggots get hatched out and infest the melon fruits.

    1. Chemical control with insecticides
    Certain chemical insecticides are sprayed on the crops to avoid, kill the maggots. Some combination may be prayed to manage the fruit flies on melon crops. Ovicidal properties insecticides are also mixed in spray solution
  • Spray with karate-2ml/lt+ Neem oil 1ml/ltr on both the sides of the leaves

  • OR

    Spray with Coragen -0.3 ml + Neem oil 1ml/ltr on both the sides of the leaves

  • OR


    Spray with Fame -0.5 ml + Neem oil 1ml/ltr on both the sides of the leaves

  • Created By: 

    Kavyashree C.N


    For more information kindly call on 8050797979 or give missed call on 180030002434 during office hours 10 AM to 5 PM

Also Read : Management of white grubs attack on brinjal root


  • Mukombe Steven
    Im in need of your pesticide and the traps how do I get them please send me the address in Uganda were to get them I will be so happy if you consider my need

  • Mukombe Steven

    We needed appreciate the great service you offer to us but in uganda where do we find you

  • Abasi Kimbindu

    Thank you for good,easy and helpfully knowledge,keep it up

  • Ariho

    This is very helpful thank you so much. How does need oil and karate looks like where can I buy they from Kampla?

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