High Tunnel Melon and Watermelon Production
Bacterial wilt causes vine collapse of melons.
Bacterial wilt (Erwinia tracheiphila) is a serious disease of melons. Watermelons
are resistant to this disease. Bacterial wilt is transmitted by spotted and
striped cucumber beetles that feed on melon foliage. Infected plants exhibit
leaf wilting followed by vine collapse (Figure 23). Plants are most often
infected at early stages of growth.
Control of bacterial wilt in a high tunnel begins with control of cucumber
beetles. Scout regularly for cucumber beetles. Use a systemic insecticide
that provides 36 days of cucumber beetle control. Row covers will protect the
plants from early-season feeding by cucumber beetles. There are currently no
melon cultivars resistant to bacterial wilt.
M173, new February 2006