A Row Cover and Low-risk Insecticide Strategy for Cucumber Beetle Management
Spotted and striped cucumber beetles transmit a bacterium that causes wilt in cucurbit crops. They are the major pest of muskmelons in Iowa. We investigated the success of spun-cotton Reemay row covers and several reduced-risk insecticides for management of cucumber beetles and bacterial wilt.
Materials and Methods
- Twenty-five foot rows of 'Athena' muskmelon seedlings were planted into black plastic mulch at the ISU Horticulture Farm in Ames, the Armstrong Research and Demonstration Farm in Lewis, and the Muscatine Island Research Station in Fruitland.
- Each location included two fields, a row-covered field and an uncovered control field.
- The row-covered fields were covered at planting, and covers were removed at bloom.
- Striped and spotted beetle populations on five plants per plot were recorded each week.
- Bacterial wilt ratings (number of wilted plants per plot) were taken at the first sign of disease at each location.
- Melons were counted, weighed, and inspected for disease and insect damage at harvest.