Melon (Cantaloupe, muskmelon, and watermelon)-Armyworm and cutworm

Includes

Beet armyworm (Spodoptera exigua)
Bertha armyworm (Mamestra configurata)
Western yellowstriped armyworm (Spodoptera praefica)
Black cutworm (Agotis ipsilon)
Variegated cutworm (Peridroma saucia)

Pest description, crop damage and life history

See:

Management-cultural control

Weed control is important. Lambsquarters and wild mustard attract egg-laying females and provide a source of food for larvae. Fall tillage can help destroy overwintering pupae.

Home gardeners: Control weeds, grasses, and debris in the vegetable garden that provide cover; hand-pick cutworm larvae, using a flashlight to find them, if practical. Scratch the soil at the base of plants to find larvae in the daytime.

Management-chemical control: HOME USE

Apply any one of these materials to the soil surface at first sign of cutworm activity. Consult label. Minimum preharvest interval (PHI) varies with crop. Difficult to control. Where cutworms are on the soil surface, a carbaryl drench, when bees are not present, may help.

  • azadirachtin (neem oil)-Some formulations are OMRI-listed for organic use.
  • Bacillus thuringiensis var. kurstaki (Btk)-Some formulations are OMRI-listed for organic use.
  • Beauvaria bassiana- Some formulations are OMRI-listed for organic use
  • bifenthrin
  • carbaryl
  • cyfluthrin
  • deltamethrin
  • esfenvalerate
  • insecticidal soap-Some formulations OMRI-listed for organic use.
  • permethrin
  • plant-derived essential oils (rosemary, peppermint, thyme etc.)-These have some efficacy against lepidopteran larvae. Some formulations are OMRI-listed for organic use.
  • pyrethins (often as a mix with other ingredients)-Some formulations are OMRI-listed for organic use.
  • spinosad-Some formulations are OMRI-listed for organic use.
  • zeta-cypermethrin

Management-chemical control: COMMERCIAL USE

  • alpha-cypermethrin (Fastac EC) at 0.014 to 0.025 lb ai/a. PHI 1 day. REI 12 hr. Retreatment interval 7 days. Do not exceed 0.075 lb ai/a per season.
  • azadirachtin (Neemix)-See label for rates. Acts slowly; apply early. PHI 0 days. REI 4 hr. Thorough coverage and repeat applications are necessary. Some formulations are OMRI-listed for organic use.
  • Bacillus thuringiensis (Javelin) at 0.12 to 1.5 lb/a. PHI 0 days. REI 4 hr. Acts slowly; may need multiple applications. Add an appropriate spreader-sticker to enhance control. Most effective on small larvae. Some formulations are OMRI-listed for organic use.
  • beta-cyfluthrin (Baythroid XL) at 0.007 to 0.019 lb ai/a. PHI 0 days. REI 12 hr. Retreatment interval 7 days. Do not exceed 0.088 lb ai/a per season.
  • bifenthrin (Brigade 2EC) at 0.04 to 0.1 lb ai/a. PHI 3 days. REI 12 hr. Do not exceed 0.3 lb ai/a per season. Do not make more than two applications after bloom. Retreatment interval 7 days.
  • bifenthrin + avermectin (Athena) at 0.048 to 0.116 lb ai/a. PHI 7 days. REI 12 hr. Retreatment interval 7 days. Limit 2 treatments after bloom. Do not exceed 0.056 lb ai/a avermectin or 0.3 lb ai/a bifenthrin per year.
  • bifenthrin + indole butyric acid (Empower 2) at 0.04 to 0.1 lb ai/a. PHI 3 days. REI 5 days. Retreatment interval 7 days. Do not exceed 0.3 lb ai/a per season. Cutworms only.
  • bifenthrin + zeta-cypermethrin (Hero) at 0.04 to 0.1 lb ai/a. PHI 3 days. REI 12 hr. Retreatment interval 7 days. Do not exceed 0.4 lb ai/a per season.
  • Burkholderia spp. (Venerate XC) at 1 to 8 quarts/a product. PHI 0 days. REI 4 hr. OMRI-listed for organic use.
  • carbaryl (Sevin 5 Bait) at 1 lb ai/a as granule. PHI 3 days. REI 12 hr. Retreatment interval 7 days. Do not exceed 6 lb ai/a per season. Limit 6 applications.
  • chlorantramniliprole (Coragen) at 0.045 to 0.098 lb ai/a soil treatment at planting or foliar. PHI 1 day. REI 4 hr. Limit 4 treatments per year. Retreatment interval 5 days foliar, 10 days drip. Do not exceed 0.6 lb ai/a per season.
  • chlorantraniliprole/lambda-cyhalothrin (Voliam Xpress) at 0.059 to 0.088 lb ai/a. PHI 1 day. REI 24 hr. Retreatment interval 5 days. Do not exceed 0.18 lb ai of lambda-cyhalothrin or 0.2 lb ai of chlorantraniliprole per acre per growing season.
  • cyantraniliprole (Exirel) at 0.045 to 0.088 lb ai/a. PHI 1 day. REI 12 hr. Retreatment interval 5 days. Do not exceed 0.4 lb ai/a per year.
  • cyfluthrin (Tombstone) at 0.013 to 0.038 lb ai/a. PHI 0 days. REI 12 hr. Retreatment interval 7 days. Do not exceed 0.175 lb ai/a per season.
  • deltamethrin (Delta Gold) at 0.012 to 0.028 lb ai/a. PHI 3 days. REI 12 hr. Retreatment interval 3 days. Do not exceed 0.168 lb ai/a per season.
  • diazinon (Diazinon 50W) at 2 to 4 lb ai/a broadcast and incorporate before planting. PHI 3 days. REI 3 days. Cutworms only.
  • esfenvalerate (Asana XL) at 0.03 to 0.05 lb ai/a as seedling spray. PHI 3 days. REI 12 hr. Do not exceed 0.25 lb ai/a per year.
  • fenpropathrin (Danitol) at 0.2 to 0.3 lb ai/a. PHI 7 days. REI 24 hr. Retreatment interval 7 days. Do not exceed 0.8 lb ai/a per season. An adjuvant improves control.
  • flubendiamide (Synapse WG) at 0.03 to 0.045 lb ai/a. PHI 1 day. REI 12 hr. Retreatment interval 7 days. Do not exceed 0.135 lb ai/a per crop season.
  • flubendiamide/buprofenzin (Vetica) at 0.25 to 0.35 lb ai/a. PHI 1 day. REI 12 hr. Do not exceed 0.79 lb ai/a per season. Retreatment interval 7 days. Limit 3 treatments per crop.
  • gamma-cyhalothrin (Declare) at 0.01 to 0.015 lb ai/a. PHI 1 day. REI 24 hr. Do not exceed 0.09 lb ai/a per season.
  • GS-omega/kappa (Spear Biological Insecticide) at 0.8 lb ai/a. PHI 0 days. REI 4 hr. Do not exceed 2 lb ai/a per year.
  • lambda-cyhalothrin (Warrior II) at 0.02 to 0.03 lb ai/a. PHI 1 day. REI 24 hr. Retreatment interval 5 days. Do not exceed 0.18 lb ai/a per year.
  • lambda-cyhalothrin + thiamethoxam (Endigo ZC) at 0.064 to 0.072 lb ai/a. PHI 1 day. REI 24 hr. Retreatment interval 5 days. Do not exceed 0.18 lb ai/a of lambda-cyhalothrin or 0.172 lb ai/a of thiamethoxam per season.
  • methomyl (Lannate SP) at 0.45 to 0.9 lb ai/a. PHI 1 day at 0.45 lb ai/a or 3 days at 0.9 lb ai/a. REI 48 hr. Limit 12 treatments per year. Do not exceed 5.4 lb ai/a per season.
  • methoxyfenozide (Intrepid 2F) at 0.06 to 0.16 lb ai/a. PHI 3 days. REI 4 hr. Retreatment interval 7 days. Do not exceed 1 lb ai/a per season.
  • naled (Dibrom) at 0.94 lb ai/a. PHI 1 day. REI 48 hr. Retreatment interval 7 days. Do not exceed 1.9 lb ai/a per season. For netted varieties only.
  • novaluron (Rimon 0.83EC) at 0.058 to 0.078 lb ai/a. PHI 1 day. REI 12 hr. Retreatment interval 14 days. Do not exceed 0.234 lb ai/a per season.
  • permethrin (Loveland Permethrin) at 0.1 to 0.2 lb ai/a. PHI 0 days. REI 12 hr. Retreatment interval 7 days. Do not exceed 1.2 lb ai/a per season watermelons; cantaloupes 0.8 lb ai/a per season. Cutworms only.
  • permethrin (Permethrin Cutworm Bait) at 0.1 to 0.2 lb ai/a. PHI 0 days. REI 12 hr. Do not exceed 1.6 lb ai/a per.
  • spinetoram (Radiant SC) at 0.039 to 0.078 lb ai/a. PHI 3 days. REI 4 hr. Retreatment interval 4 days. Do not exceed six applications or 0.266 lb ai/a per season. Armyworms.only.
  • spinosad (Success, Entrust SC) at 0.0625 to 0.125 lb ai/a. PHI 3 days. REI 4 hr. Do not exceed six applications or 0.45 lb ai/a per crop. Entrust SC is OMRI-listed for organic use.
  • tebuconazole+lambda cyhalothrin (Crossover) at 0.08 to 0.09 lb ai/a. PHI 7 days. REI 24 hr. Do not exceed 0.48 lb ai/a tebuconazole or 0.18 lb ai/a lambda cyhalothrin per season.
  • zeta-cypermethrin (Mustang) at 0.016 to 0.05 lb ai/a. PHI 1 day. REI 12 hr. Retreatment interval 7 days. Do not exceed 0.3 lb ai/a per year.

Note: Pesticides may injure cucurbits. The possibility of injury is less when foliage is dry at time of application.