Just like any other plant, gourds have a few pests
that can hinder their growth. Different areas of the country will
have different pests, but, due to limited server space, I'm not
going to go into every insect pest that may attack gourd plants.
There are however, a few major ones I'll try to discuss and what can
be done about them.
The Cucumber Beetle is one of the insect
pests that you're very likely to encounter. The adult beetle is
about 1/4" long and has yellow stripes lengthwise its wing cases.
Yes, it flies. There is also a spotted version. The adult beetle
will eat the leaves, and unless you have a major infestation, they
usually won't do too much damage. However, the larvae of this insect
will bore into the stems and roots of the plants and can stunt the
growth of a plant, if not kill it.
The Squash Bug in another
pest that you might encounter. This bug is about 1/2" long, gray in
color and looks rather flat. The nymphs probably do more damage than
the adults. They suck the sap from the leaves and young
Another problem you will probably encounter is the
Vine Borer. If your plants mysteriously start to wilt, then look at
the base of the plant. If you find white grubs, then you have vine
borers. These pests will bore into the main stem of the plant and
eat a rather large portion of the stem away. After removing the
pest, one thing you can do to repair the damage is to mound the
earth around the base of the plant.
There are many things that can be done to remedy the
situations described above, I'm only going to give solutions to a
few here. If you have other problems, check with your local
Agricultural Extension Office. And remember one thing when using
insecticides. Over-use could result in the destruction of beneficial
insects such as Honeybees and Ladybugs, so please, use some common
sense and use any insecticide with care. Read and follow all
Sevin dust seems to be the one
cure-all here. Just be careful and use only enough to fix the
problem at hand. If you kill your pollinators, you won't have any
gourds. You don't need sevin dust on the leaves and blooms if you're
trying to kill vine borers.
notice parts of your plants that have a mold on them, cut the
affected parts from your vines and burn them. You want to remove the
affected parts as quickly as possible before more of the plant
becomes infected. Rather than buy more chemicals and fungicides,
burning is the most effective way to deal with this problem on a
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