Title: Papaya insect control
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00084398/00001
 Material Information
Title: Papaya insect control
Series Title: Papaya insect control
Alternate Title: Circular 136-A ; Florida Agricultural Extension Service
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Creator: Brogdon, James E.
Wolfenbarger, D. O.
Publisher: University of Florida, Agricultural Extension Service
Publication Date: March 1963
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00084398
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 232325108

Full Text
Circular 136-A


JAMES E. BROGDON
Agricultural Extension
Service Entomologist


D. O. WOLFENBARGER
Sub-Tropical Experiment
Station Entomologist


AGRCLUAL EXESO SEVC


March 1963


Papaya

Insect

Control







Papayas hold much interest for many home owners and some
commercial growers in the southern part of Florida. These
plants, which have been highly publicized, have been grown
in the state for many years and produce a subtropical fruit that
is desired by
many people.
Insects may
be a limiting fac-
tor in the grow-
ing of papayas,
especially from
fruit set until
harvest. Among
those likely to be
a problem are the
papaya fruit fly,
webworm, white-
fly, hornworms,
and leafhoppers.
Of these pests,
the papaya fruit
fly is especially
important be-
cause it is diffi-
cult to control
and requires tak-
ing some preven-
tive measures.

PAPAYA
FRUIT FLY

Fig. 1.-Papaya fruit fly laying eggs. Papaya fruit
(Photographs by D. O. Wolfenbarger.) flies are so m e-
times called
wasps, because of the long ovipositor of the female fly as well
as similarities in size and color. This long egg-laying organ,
which is as long as the body proper, penetrates the flesh of the
fruit and enters the seed-cavity (Figure 1). Eggs are usually
laid in small fruit, about two to three inches in diameter, but
they may be deposited in smaller and larger fruit, especially
during high populations of the fly.
The larvae, which are small legless maggots, feed on the seed
2







and interior parts of the fruit (Figure 2). When the larvae
become mature, they emerge from the fruit (Figure 3), drop
to the ground beneath the plant and pupate just beneath the
soil surface. After about two to four weeks the flies emerge to
mate and seek fruit in which to lay eggs.
Control
It is too late to attempt control measures after the female
fruit fly has deposited eggs in the fruit. Consequently, control
procedures are directed at preventing egg-laying either by me-
chanical means or by applying sprays to kill the adult female
before she deposits her eggs.


Fig. 2.-Injury caused by papaya fruit fly larvae.


Control of the fly may be achieved by mechanical protection
such as the use of paper bags. Each fruit may be enclosed by
a 3-5 pound size bag tied around the fruit stem to hold the bag.
Newspaper, one-half sheet (about 12-15 inches in size), may be
rolled to enclose the fruit, then tied around the fruit stem, and
also the free end. Bagging should begin when the fruit is small,
shortly after the flower parts have fallen. This method of con-
trol is more adapted to small (1 to 25 plants) than to large (one-
fourth acre or more) plantings. Although bagging the fruit is







the most certain method of control, it is a laborious process and
requires attention at regular intervals (10 to 14 days) to keep
the young fruit covered. Also, this procedure will injure some
of the fruit unless handled carefully. The other suggested con-
trol procedure is to apply DDT-sulfur sprays or dusts. Such
control has been effective in many plantings. A spray containing
one pound of 50 percent DDT wettable powder plus two pounds
of wettable sulfur in 25 gallons of water has been used satisfac-
torily. A 5 percent DDT dust in sulfur may be used. Six
to 12 applications at two to three weeks intervals may be neces-
ary before favorable results are observed. See precautions,
page 6.)
Sanitation is important in the control of the papaya fruit
fly. It consists of destroying all dropped and prematurely ripe
fruit, as well as small fruit suspected of being infested, to prevent
the larvae from developing into adult fruit flies.


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Fig. 3.-Emergence holes of papaya fruit fly larvae.


PAPAYA WEBWORM

This insect is sometimes referred to as the fruit cluster worm,
but is commonly called papaya webworm. It develops between







and around fruits and along stems of plants under a web (Figure
4). The webworm causes injury to fruit and stem (Figure 5),
providing an entrance for the fungus disease, anthracnose.

Control
The webworm
can be controlled
by spraying with
DDT or chlordane
at the rate of two
pounds of 50 per-
cent wettable
powder per 100
gallons of water
or one ounce in
three gallons
(about two table-
spoons per gal-
lon). Sprays
should be started
when webs are
first noticed, or
when the fruit
begins to set if
the webworm is
prevalent in the
area. (See pre-
cautions, page 6.)

PAPAYA .
WHITEFLY
Fig. 4.-Webs and excrement of papaya webworms.
The whitefly
adult is a small white insect which often can be detected by
shaking the leaves of the plant-especially young leaves. The
young (larval) stages are flat, scale-like creatures and, except
during the first or active "crawler" stage, are fastened to the
plant and immobile. These insects have sucking mouthparts,
and most of the injury is caused by the young stages. Sooty-
mold, a black fungus, may cover leaves, fruit and stem as a result
of whitefly infestations. This fungus develops on the sweet,
syrupy excretions of whiteflies, thus detracting from the ap-
pearance of the fruit.







The papaya whitefly can be controlled with sulfur sprays or
dusts. The spray should be mixed at the rate of two pounds
of wettable sulfur per 25 gallons of water and applied when
adults become
numerous.

HORNWORMS
AND
LEAFHOPPERS
Hornworms are
the immature
stage of large
sphinx moths
and may grow to
three inches or
more in length.
Occasional infes-
tations occur and
large portions of
leaves may be
consumed in a
short period of
time.
L eafh oppers
are very small,
light-g r e e n in-
sects with suck-
ing mouthparts.
Hornworms and
leafhoppers may
Fig. 5-Papaya webworm injury. be controlled with
DDT dusts and
sprays as discussed under webworm and fruitfly.


INSECTS AS VECTORS OF VIRUS DISEASES

Virus diseases are another limiting factor in the production
of papayas. These viruses are undoubtedly carried by insects;
however, vectors have not been identified definitely. Aphids
and leafhoppers are suspected. Since these insects feed on many
plants and move from plant to plant, it would be very difficult
to prevent them from feeding on papayas.







PRECAUTIONS

Insecticides are poisons and should be handled with care.
Always read the manufacturer's label on the insecticide con-
tainer carefully and completely before opening. Observe all
precautions. READ AND HEED THE LABEL!!

PESTICIDE RESIDUES

Papayas consumed by the producer should be prepared by
the generally accepted practices of washing, peeling, etc. Pa-
payas offered for sale must conform with federal and/or state
food and drug pesticide residue regulations. Sulfur has been
declared safe and does not require any waiting period before
harvest. A waiting period of 30 days should be allowed between
the last application of DDT or chlordane and the harvest of fruit.






























COOPERATIVE EXTENSION WORK IN AGRICULTURE AND HOME ECONOMICS
(Acts of May 8 and June 30, 1914)
Agricultural Extension Service, University of Florida,
'lorida State University and United States Department of Agriculture, Cooperating
M. O. Watkins, Director








Four Keys to
esticide Safety


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READ THE LABEL ON EACH PESTICIDE CONTAIN-
ER BEFORE EACH USE. Heed all
cautions and warnings. /P / ,


STORE PESTICIDES IN THEIR ORIGINAL,
LABELED CONTAINERS. Keep them out
of the reach of children and irresponsible
people.


APPLY PESTICIDES ONLY AS DIRECTED.


DISPOSE OF EMPTY CONTAINERS
SAFELY.


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