How to Control Aphids in Ampalaya

Aphids, Aphis gossypii Glover, suck the sap of leaves. This results in curling and yellowing of leaves, stunted growth, and even death of the whole plant. More importantly, the aphid is a vector of the cucurbit aphid-borne yellow virus (CABYV) which is similar to the “namamarako” disease in ampalaya.

The virus disease causes curling, thickening, and yellowing of leaves, significantly decreasing in female flowers and consequently fruits.

The virus disease is managed by destroying infested plants to prevent further spread.


* Monitor the plants regularly for the initial infestation of aphids. Remove the leaves or uproot the whole plant if necessary.
* Control the ants that carry aphids to the plants by spraying them with any green-label insecticide.
* Control aphids by spraying water or chilli-soap solution at high pressure that will dislodge the pests from the plant, disrupting their life cycle.
* If insecticide is resorted to, use methomyl or carbaryl. Do not use pyrethroids that are purely contact insecticides with no fumigating effects, hence cannot reach the aphids underneath the leaves. Read the label and follow strictly the instructions to avoid contamination.
* The growth of sooty molds is an indirect damage due to the honeydew secreted by the aphids. Such growth hampers photosynthesis that finally kills the plant.

Source: PhilRice and JICA, 2007. Training Guide for Vegetable Production in the Philippines. Maligaya, Science City of Muñoz, Nueva Ecija. Prepared by staff members of PhilRice Batac, Ilocos Norte

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