Description: Deformed or curled leaves. Green, brown, or black soft bodied insects on under sides of leaves. Sticky honeydew or black sooty mold sometimes present.
Control: Strong water spray or insecticidal soap spray. Must get spray on
the insects to be effective. Some damage can be tolerated. Ladybug beetles are natural predators.
Problem: Squash bugs Affected Area: Leaf
Description: Leaves with small specks which turn yellow, then brown. Vines wilt from point of attack to end of vine.
Control: Trap adults beneath boards in spring--turn over boards in morning and kill bugs. Handpick adults, egg mass and young bugs on plants. Adults are about 5/8-inch long, grayish or yellowish brown, flat backed and speckled.
Problem: Wilt diseases Affected Area: Leaf and Stem
Description: Plants wilt and die, older leaves first. Light brown streaks inside stem show when split lengthwise.
Control: Destroy infected plants.
Problem: Powdery Mildew Affected Area: Leaf and Stem
Description: White powdery spots on leaves and stems eventually enlarges and covers entire leaf. Unlike other mildews, powdery mildew does not need moist weather to spread and grow. Usually appears toward the end of season. Control measures are not generally needed at that time.
Control: Plant resistant varieties. Dusting sulfur may help, but will burn some varieties.
Problem: Mosaic Affected Area: Leaf and Fruit
Description: Irregularly shaped light and dark green spots on leaves. Plants become stunted and melons may be misshapen or discolored.
Control: This virus is transmitted by aphids but controlling the aphids is not practical. Destroy infected plants immediately and rotate planting location.
The tone of the watermelon indicates ripeness. Lift the melon carefully and slap with a cupped hand. If the tone is high-pitched, the watermelon is not yet ripe. If it is low-pitched, it is too ripe. A medium-pitched tone indicates a ripe watermelon. Prac