Fruit flies are a devastating pest for most fruits including gourds. Female fruitflies puncture the fruit to lay eggs inside the fruit; the eggs hatch into larvae and relish on the fruits before growing up and emerging out of the fruits. So the next time you see wriggling worms when you cut open a fruit, you know how they got there. In conventional cultivation, management of fruit flies is done by intensive spraying of powerful insecticides on a regular basis. Since fruitflies are good fliers and come from far and near towards cucurbit and other fruit crops, the effectiveness of a spray is short lived.
At NaturePinks, we grow a variety of gourds organically - bittergourd, bottlegourd, ridgegourd, snakegourd etc. - some of them being affected more severely than others. We employ a set of organic methods to minimize the damage of fruit flies. We use fruitfly traps that tend to catch a good number of male fruitflies thus reducing the overall population. Regular application of organic sprays such as neem extract, panchagavya and bioagents is another measure that we meticulously resort to. We also wrap the young fruits in a layer or two of paper that physically protects the fruits from being accessible to the insects - yes, it is a very labour intensive procedure especially for the smaller fruits, but is something we take up to ensure you have fruit free of insect damage and of course harmful chemicals.
And in spite of all this, if a worm does manage to make its way to make you squeal when you cut a fruit, do let us know! It is still a lot better than silently gulping a pesticide laden fruit.
Enjoy a few pictures of the diligence we apply to bring safe healthy organic gourds to your table!