Cucumber Mosaic Virus

Class: Viruses

Common Name

Cucumber mosaic virus (CMV)

Potential Hosts

Almost all cucurbits, cucumber, spinach, banana, melons, peppers, squash, tomato, lupins, beans, carrot, celery, lettuce, spinach, beet, many ornamentals, bedding plants, and more

Who am I?

Cucumber mosaic virus, from the cucumovirus genus, is common worldwide in both temperate and tropical climates, but cannot survive in extremely dry conditions. Infection results in severe damage to host plants. The symptoms induced by CMV includes light green–dark green mosaics, generalized chlorosis, stunting, leaf filiformism, and local chlorotic and are host specific.

CMV is transmitted by Aphids and parasitic weeds. In lab conditions, the virus can be transmitted mechanically through plant sap and is seedborne. The large number of CMV hosts allows it to overseason from one crop to another by potentially surviving in plant roots.

Control measures

There are no treatments for viruses; plants that are infected with the cucumber mosaic virus should be removed from the field and destroyed immediately. Since the virus might have spread before symptoms appeared, focus should be on prevention, usage of resistant varieties, and the elimination of weeds and aphids.


It’s easier and more cost effective to overcome infestation by eliminating aphids during the initial stage of infestation. Make it a routine to monitor fields regularly and search plants for the presence of aphids on a weekly basis.

Sanitation: Keep the crops’ close surroundings and environmental conditions neat by removing weeds and closeby plants that are non-cultivated and unprotected, which can attract aphids.

Growing inside structures: The most effective way to protect your crop from aphids is simply (but costly) growing them inside a greenhouse or a dense (50 mesh) net structure.

Conventional (chemical)

The following insecticides are used in one or more parts of the world: imidacloprid-based product (1 iteration via irrigation or spray can - although this method will not keep your crop safe completely from acquiring the disease and 2-3 additional spraying application may help to reduce chances of infection),

flonicamid, imidacloprid, pymetrozine, thiamethoxam, sulfoxaflor, acetamiprid, chlorpyrifos, cypermethrin, and bifenthrin.

The use of insecticides to control the spread of CMV has its limitations since the virus is transmitted in a non persistent manner; aphids may have already transmitted the virus before the insecticide killed them.


Spray-able products containing one or more of the following molecules: azadirachtin, neem oil, pyrethrins, and potassium salt of fatty acids.

Caution and careful notice should be taken when using any plant protection products (insecticides, fungicides, and herbicides). It is the grower’s sole responsibility to keep track of the legal uses and permissions with respect to the laws in their country and destination markets. Always read the instructions written on labels, and in a case of contradiction, work in accordance to the product label. Keep in mind that information written on the label usually applies to local markets. Pest control products intended for organic farming are generally considered to be less effective in comparison to conventional products. When dealing with organic, biologic, and to some extent a small number of conventional chemical products, a complete eradication of a pest or disease will often require several iterations of a specific treatment or combination of treatments.

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