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Old 07-29-2013, 12:55 PM   #1
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thumbs down Squash vine borer HELP!!!

Well they just took out my entire zucchini patch in the course of a week! does anyone have any organic solutions to these little beasties? All my gardening books recommend insecticide application I don't want to do that. I should probably get some new books . I know I shouldn't plant squash in the same area next year but is there any kind of soil treatment to prevent them coming back?
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Old 07-29-2013, 03:12 PM   #2
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Just when you thought you were safe from pantyhose...

I have not been brave enough to try it, but Equilibrium sings its praises.
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Old 07-29-2013, 04:07 PM   #3
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I totally forgot about that how could I!!!
Thanks BigBlue Time to raid the wife's hosiery drawer
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Old 07-29-2013, 07:21 PM   #4
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Go for it!
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Old 07-29-2013, 09:49 PM   #5
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Just today I saw that most of my squash plants are rotting around the base of the stem. I will research this a bit more but I'm pretty sure I'm suffering the same problem.
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Old 07-30-2013, 09:58 PM   #6
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pawprint I think it is interesting that the borer hits recurve, deshuan, & me all at same time

This is my first year of really decent looking yellow squash plants. Sad to say tho, as soon as recurve announced, I checked mine.....ughh mine have the borer also. I did surgery on the plants today, and as I was cutting away at older leaf stems & clearing stink bugs & eggs, and goopy flowers and of course cutting a few of those borers with scissors. I killed 4 plants already, because I was too rough with the scissors, & handling. 3 plants might survive another week or so.

I think part of my susceptibility to the borer has been my lack of attention to the plants. I should have been pruning off those leaves & other debris earlier... as the stem lengthens, this might have caused my plants to resist the borer? No I didn't use the panty hose & foil trick, but I couldn't figure out how to get that stuff wrapped in there with so many viable leaves still attached to the stem.

I'm worried these things might affect my cucumber or my watermelon vines, does anyone know if this stem boring phenomena affects those type plants? I did grow watermelon last year with no real problem. I'm really going to be upset if my watermelon vines die.

ww
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Old 07-30-2013, 10:15 PM   #7
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Squash borer goes for plants in the Cucurbita genus. Watermelon is Citrullus lanatus. Cucumber is Cucumis sativus.

Squash (Cucurbita):
These species include C. maxima (hubbard squash, buttercup squash, some varieties of prize pumpkins, such as Big Max), C. mixta (cushaw squash), C. moschata (butternut squash), and C. pepo (most pumpkins, acorn squash, summer squash, zucchini).[1]
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Old 07-31-2013, 06:27 AM   #8
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pawprint Oh well, they were fun while they lasted...LOL

Squash vine borer management in home gardens : Insects : University of Minnesota Extension

This paper by Jeffrey Hahn and Suzanne Burkness, University of Minnesota
2007 seems to have some good answers about the life cycle & such. Which leads me to conclude that moving the squash next year might help a little, but these guys can fly around and find your plants where ever they are.

I'll try to out smart em next year, and maybe I can get a second planting this year to avoid the late June, early July time of the moth activity. This site also mentions a yellow colored trap, I might try making a few of those too, for next year.

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Old 07-31-2013, 02:26 PM   #9
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Some squash are not suseptible to the problem. Butternut and pumpkin...most winter squash. The summer squash are hard to protect though. I have not tried the foil because the eggs can be on the leaf stem and bore into the main stem.
What works for us is row covers while the plants are young. And if they survive long enough making sure there is a place for roots to form along the vine as it grows. The borers seem to head for the base.
If you are trying to kill the borers watch for small brown spots where the larvae entered the stem, if you catch them while they are small and working their way deeper, the plant may survive. I always seem to miss some and really hate this method. If they reach the base of the plant try mounding with soil.
If the plants are goners destroy(burn not compost) all larvae and vines or they may survive to lay eggs as moth adults next year.
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Old 07-31-2013, 02:42 PM   #10
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Wildwatcher, I think using the yellow traps for the moths next year might be a good idea. We will try it here and see what happens. You have a nice long season for a second crop. We are doing that this year but it has been so cool and wet now that I'm afraid we may not get much harvest from the late planting.
Barring a long hot summer, the combination of foil at the base, yellow traps and finding eggs or killing the larvae soon after hatching may get us some extra summer squash.
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