watermelon - Knowledgebase Question

Jacksonville, Fl
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Question by kaygfox
October 14, 2010
Our baby watermelon has a small

Answer from NGA
October 14, 2010
It's difficult to identify the pest without seeing it but I suspect the culprit is the pickleworm. Young pickleworms usually feed for a time among small leaves at the growing tips of vines or within blossoms. When about half grown, pickleworms normally bore into sides of fruits and continue to feed there causing internal damage and producing soft excrement. Both young and old fruits are attacked, but they prefer young fruits before the rind has hardened. Pickleworms make holes in the rind. After the rind has been punctured, the fruit soon rots. There's not much you can do to save the affected fruit so I'd remove it from the plant. It's also difficult to control these insect pests. You might try using Bt (bacillus thuringensis), a botanical that acts as a stomach poison, targeting only caterpillars. It is safe to use on your watermelon plants. Be sure to apply on upper and lower sides of the leaves and on the stems. Good luck with your watermelons!

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