Braddmd
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What is destroying my cantaloupe plants?

I planted cantaloupe and watermelon seedlings in NJ a few weeks ago. I noticed the leaves are being eaten. There are these green insects and literally hundreds of these small jumping things all over the soil mounds. His sucks! I tried garden powder which didn't work this is an infestation.

What am I dealing with? And how do I destroy them? It is early enough in the season where I could start from scratch.
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Note that there are two insects here. The big one which I only found a few of, and the little one which there are hundreds of! The little ones jump and crawl all over the dirt. Are they the same species?
Note that there are two insects here. The big one which I only found a few of, and the little one which there are hundreds of! The little ones jump and crawl all over the dirt. Are they the same species?

Braddmd
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Re: What is destroying my cantaloupe plants?

FYI. I may be wrong but I decided for myself that they might be aphids. I covered all the mounds with tin foil shiny side up and held the down with ceded mulch. I have no clue if this will help but I read online aphids hate the shiny tin foil. I feel like I have spaceships in my backyard.

Braddmd
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Re: What is destroying my cantaloupe plants?

I'm surprised no one here can help me identify this insect??

imafan26
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Re: What is destroying my cantaloupe plants?

The big one looks like a nymph from a sqash beetle. They can suck the juices from the plant. But usually not associated with holes. I can't tell what the small one is. I don't see enough damage to the leaf to worry about it. Aphids would be found under the leaves and probably not jumping around. The little bug is definitely not an aphid.

Can you look under the leaves and see what is there?

Also if you can post a better picture of the small bug. When I zoomed it was not in good focus to identify it.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

Braddmd
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Re: What is destroying my cantaloupe plants?

imafan26 wrote:The big one looks like a nymph from a sqash beetle. They can suck the juices from the plant. But usually not associated with holes. I can't tell what the small one is. I don't see enough damage to the leaf to worry about it. Aphids would be found under the leaves and probably not jumping around. The little bug is definitely not an aphid.

Can you look under the leaves and see what is there?

Also if you can post a better picture of the small bug. When I zoomed it was not in good focus to identify it.
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Underside leaf picture. Honestly, that little guy is so small I would need a macro lens to get a better picture. There are literally hundreds of those little guys.
Underside leaf picture. Honestly, that little guy is so small I would need a macro lens to get a better picture. There are literally hundreds of those little guys.

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rainbowgardener
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Re: What is destroying my cantaloupe plants?

Some times the type of damage is more revealing than of the culprit even than the picture. Your leaf picture isn't well focused either. Is the damage only on the leaf edges? Is that just water drops on the leaves? Besides the edges, do the leaves have other marks on them or holes?

Could this be your little guy?
Image

These are springtails. That is magnified. They are very small and usually do appear by hundreds.
Image

this picture is someone's sink. When conditions get dry outside, springtails can sometimes move inside to moist places. That's when people worry about them most.

Yours look more rounded than these, but I did find pictures of springtail juveniles looking more round:
Image

Here's a little more about them:
IDENTIFICATION
Springtails are minute, wingless insects about 1/16 inch long. They lay their round eggs in small groups in moist soil, especially where organic matter is abundant. The immature stage is usually whitish, and adults tend to be whitish, bluish, or dark gray to black. The immature stage differs from the adult stage only in size and color. Springtails get their name from the ability to jump up to several inches high by means of a tail-like mechanism (furcula) tucked under the abdomen. When disturbed, this appendage functions as a spring, propelling them into the air away from the danger.

HABITAT
Springtails live in soil, especially soil amended with compost, in leaf litter and organic mulches, and under bark or decaying wood. They feed on decaying plant material, fungi, molds, or algae.
https://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/PESTNOTES/pn74136.html

If you think it is springtails, they are usually harmless in the garden. They are detritovores, scavengers of dead,decaying stuff. They would not be what is damaging your plants.

Incidentally, take it easy. Your plants do not look "destroyed" at all, just slightly damaged. Plants can survive lots more damage than that and still be fine.

I have to go feed kitty. Show us some more pictures of the damage, including some that show the whole plant, so we can see the relative scope of the problem.

Best Wishes and hang in there with us, we will help you solve this! :)
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

Braddmd
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Re: What is destroying my cantaloupe plants?

Damage
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Damage
Damage
Damage
Damage

Braddmd
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Re: What is destroying my cantaloupe plants?

More damage. New leaves don't seem damaged since I used garden dust.
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More damage
More damage

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