University of California

Field experiments on the control of the melon fly, Dacus cucurbitae


Walter Ebeling
T. Nishida
H. A. Bess

Authors Affiliations

Walter Ebeling was Associate Professor of Entomology and Entomologist in the California Agricultural Experiment Station; T. Nishida was Junior Entomologist, Hawaii Agricultural Experiment Station; H. A. Bess was Professor of Entomology and Entomologist, Hawaii Agricultural Experiment Station.

Publication Information

Hilgardia 21(17):563-592. DOI:10.3733/hilg.v21n17p563. February 1953.

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… showed that, owing to the habits of the insect, treating the crop itself is futile in preventing crop damage, even with insecticides that were highly effective in laboratory tests.

In contrast, treating a one- or two-row border of corn planted around the crop field with high concentrations of insecticide once a week (twice a week if it rained) was effective in protecting cucumbers, watermelons, and tomatoes. Treating near-by wild vegetation increased the effectiveness. The insecticides successfully used were DDT, methoxychlor, aldrin, dieldrin, EPN, and parathion wettable powders. The field tests furnished no basis for a comparison of their relative effectiveness.

A number of insecticides were tested by laboratory cage tests for effectiveness of residues after weathering. Among those tested, parathion and chlordane lost effectiveness most rapidly, especially if there were rains; dilan (not used in field tests), dieldrin, EPN, and DDT retained high effectiveness for 10 or 11 days after spraying when there were no heavy rains. The tests indicated wide differences among insecticides in the toxicant concentration required for good control.

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Ebeling W, Nishida T, Bess H. 1953. Field experiments on the control of the melon fly, Dacus cucurbitae. Hilgardia 21(17):563-592. DOI:10.3733/hilg.v21n17p563
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