Melon thrips is an insect pest attacking watermelon. Both nymphs and adults feed on leaves and occasionally on stem flowers and fruits.
It is normally found in groups in the cracks present in watermelon plants.
Heavily infested plants are characterized by a bronzed appearance of the leaves, stunted leaves.
Remove the alternative host plants.
Infested crops should be destroyed immediately after harvest to prevent dispersal of aphids. Mulching would check the damage at the early stage of the plant.
Setting up of blue sticky traps in the field will check the thrips population.
Spraying of dimethoate 30 EC at 2 ml per litre of water or methyl demeton 25 EC at 2 ml per litre of water or endosulfan 35 EC at 2 ml per litre of water at 30, 45 and 60 days after sowing will protect the crop from thrips menace.
K. NATARAJAN & L. ALLWIN
Department of Agricultural Entomology,
Tamil Nadu Agricultural University
Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu