Mosaic Virus in a Marina di Chioggia Squash
Mosaic is a major problem in the summer months in Kihei. It's caused by aphids that feed on infected weeds. They fly around and spread the virus to other plants. If that's not bad enough, the ever present Kihei ants, who eat the aphid honeydew, spread the virus even further.
In the summer, the surrounding areas become drier due to the higher temps, intense sun and little or no rainfall. As the weeds and wild plants dry out, aphids look for greener areas. That's why some sources on mosaic virus will recommend cutting back on the nitrogen in the summer months as a preventative.
Mosaic virus is another reason why February and March are good months to plant cucurbits. I've had the most problems with this virus during the summer months. It can spread rapidly throughout the garden and can infect tomatoes, peppers and beans.
The classic symptoms in winter squash are the large areas of lighter green pigmentation in the leaves and leaves and fruit that are misshaped. The leaves and fruit develop normally on one side and appear stunted on the other side. If I were to let this squash grow, the right side will become twice the size of the left.
I leave little containers throughout my garden of sugar mixed with borate. This helps to cut back the ant population. The mixture can be left dry or mixed with water. Ants are smart so I do both as well as vary the ratio of water in the mixture.
A Pepper Plant Infested with Aphids and Mosaic Virus
The aphid population escalates during the summer months. I've found them to be difficult to control. The best beneficial insect for aphids is the lady bug but I rarely find them in my garden. I've tried many different OMRI garden sprays and so far none have made any significant difference.