Cucurbit fruit fly, Bactrocera cucurbitae (Coquillett), is one of the most important pests of cucurbits, and squash (Cucurbita pepo Lin.) is highly prone to damage by this pest in Nepal. Because of the difficulties associated with the control of this pest by chemical insecticides, farmers experienced great losses in cucurbits. Therefore, a participatory field experiment was conducted under farmer field conditions to assess losses and to measure the efficacy of different local and recommended management options to address the problem of it in squash var. Bulam House (F1). The experiment consisted of six different treatments including untreated control, and there were four replications. All the treatments were applied 40 days after transplanting. Cucurbit fruit fly preferred young and immature fruits and resulted in a loss of 9.7% female flowers. Out of total fruits set, more than one-fourth (26%) fruits were dropped or damaged just after set and 14.04% fruits were damaged during harvesting stage, giving only 38.8% fruits of marketable quality. Application of locally made botanical pesticide ‘Jholmal’ was found superior in terms of fruit size (895 g), quality and yield (62.8 t/ha), and reduced fruit fly infestation in squash as compared to other treatments. Although, ‘Jholmal’ preparation is easy and its application is effective for the management of cucurbit fruit fly, it involves more labor cost and frequent application is a tedious process. Future efforts should be made to find the ways to reduce the cost of its application to make vegetable cultivation more profitable.
Key words: Bactrocera cucurbitae, Cucurbita pepo, pesticide, melon fly, food baits.
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