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Plantwise Factsheets for Farmers

Red Pumpkin Beetle on Vegetables

Aulacophora foveicollis
Pakistan

Recognize the problem

Red pumpkin beetle is a major pest of vegetables. Damage is caused by larvae as well as adults. Full-grown larvae are creamy white and the size of a human finger nail. Adults are orange red and the same size as a house fly. Eggs are yellow and are laid in moist soil near the base of the plant. Adults severely attack germinating plants, cutting the leaves and making holes of various sizes. The larva bores into roots, underground stems and any fruit touching the soil. The plant dries up and fruit quality becomes poor, making it unfit for human use.

Background

Red pumpkin beetles are active from March/April to November. Eggs are laid singly or in groups of 10 in moist soil at the depth of a human finger. Eggs hatch after 1 or 2 weeks and attack the plant and its roots before going into the soil to sleep from November to March at the depth of about 1 foot. Red pumpkin beetles also feed on weeds, teenda, tori, cucumber and melon when there are no red pumpkin plants available.

Management

  • Avoid sowing alternate host plants like cucumber, tori, teenda etc. near the pumpkin field
  • Remove weeds during seed bed preparation by hoeing in the transplanted vegetables
  • Monitor the crop once a week to check the population of the pest
  • Spray deltamethrin @ 250ml/acre when there is 1 adult/10 plants in the nursery or 1 adult/plant in the crop. Use a hollow cone nozzle while spraying and purchase pesticide from an authorized pesticide dealer. Note: Deltamethrin can have serious effects on non-targets.

When using a pesticide, always wear protective clothing and follow the instructions on the product label, such as dosage, timing of application, and pre-harvest interval.

The recommendations in this factsheet are relevant to: Pakistan

Authors: Faryad Hussain, Muazzama Batool, Muhammad Saeed

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