Bitter Watermelons Taste So Sweet (To Bugs)

Anna Wallingford, Research Assistant Professor
An image of watermelons hanging from a vine at the UNH greenhouses.

Hawkesbury watermelon plants look like regular watermelons, but are full of bitter, yucky cucurbitacins. But pest beetles can't get enough of them! This project looks at the potential success of mixing the feeding stimulant with insecticides to attract and target only pest insects rather than spraying broader insecticides that may harm beneficial insects such pollinators and biocontrol agents. Learn more