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Foiling the Squash Vine Borer; Great Stuff Foam on Squash Vines?

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Foiling the Squash Vine Borer; Great Stuff Foam on Squash Vines?

Post  manich on 7/16/2014, 11:44 am

I am thinking of experimenting with one plant to keep away the vine bores. Anyone ever heard of spraying the base of the vine with this Great Stuff foam insulating spray? Wonder if it would be toxic or suffocate the plant? The foil attempt is a lot of work and the vine keeps growing past it.


Last edited by camprn on 7/16/2014, 12:11 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Expanded title)

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Re: Foiling the Squash Vine Borer; Great Stuff Foam on Squash Vines?

Post  camprn on 7/16/2014, 12:04 pm

Well its certainly not organic and I would expect it may, in the end, strangle the plant to death.

This may have some usefulness. It is flexible after application and can easily be removed.

http://www.henryschein.com/self-adherent-wrap-bandages.aspx

This post suggests burlap.
http://www.bhg.com/gardening/pests/insects-diseases-weeds/stop-squash-vine-borers-in-your-garden/

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Re: Foiling the Squash Vine Borer; Great Stuff Foam on Squash Vines?

Post  mollyhespra on 7/16/2014, 12:15 pm

+1

Like Camp said, applying a rigid foam to the stalk would prevent the plant from growing, thus probably killing it or stunting it's growth.

Also, I understand that plants, like us, breathe through their "skin".  If you apply that foam sealer, you are effectively sealing off the plant's pores if you will.   

The foil & hosiery & other things that are suggested to ward off SVB create a barrier between the insect and the plant but don't clog the plant's pores.

And do you want to eat the product of a plant that's potentially been absorbing the chemicals that are in that stuff?

HTH & good luck!

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Re: Foiling the Squash Vine Borer; Great Stuff Foam on Squash Vines?

Post  CapeCoddess on 7/22/2014, 4:01 pm

I hate the SVB with a passion!

So this year I'm trying something I read in the New Victory Garden book, put a square of silver foil under each plant.

He didn't know if the light from the bottom confused the moth or if the solar reflection cooked the seeds, but it worked.  So I'm trying it, along with growing the squash on the other side of the house from previous years.  If I can remember which thread I posted in, will report back with the results. 

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SVB

Post  svanahgirl129 on 7/22/2014, 8:45 pm

Had problems with them this year too. What a great idea to use the foil! I am definitely going to try that and see if it helps. Nasty critters, did not know what they looked like, but now I do. Thanks for posting the pics.

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Re: Foiling the Squash Vine Borer; Great Stuff Foam on Squash Vines?

Post  has55 on 7/24/2014, 11:36 pm

I 'm going to try that too.I put foil around my yellow  squash plant stem, but I like this flat foil idea. I wonder if it will confused the squash bug. I'm going to plant  garlic around the base to see if that will keep them out since they like to harbor at the base of the plant.
great pictures capecoddess

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Resurrecting this post from 2014...

Post  Ginger Blue on 8/7/2016, 7:51 pm

CC, did you ever try the flat foil deterrent?  If so, how did it work?

I've just lost one of my zucchini vines to the dreaded borer nemesis.

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Re: Foiling the Squash Vine Borer; Great Stuff Foam on Squash Vines?

Post  has55 on 8/8/2016, 2:47 am

I forgot about this method. Yes, did it work?

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Re: Foiling the Squash Vine Borer; Great Stuff Foam on Squash Vines?

Post  walshevak on 8/8/2016, 7:09 am

My extension office recommended the foil squares.  Supposed to help prevent the hatching SVB moth from emerging from the soil so close to the base of your squash plant  And it may reflect light up and disorient the flying moth. No one knows.  


Because the eggs are laid low is  why you need to frequently spray the base and stems, not the leaves.  I tried foil this year and actually got some squash plants up big enough to produce a few squash before they succumbed and I found the borer was higher in the plant stems than in previous years.   Leaves have other problems like powdery mildew that need to be sprayed for.


 I had more problem this year with a worm (I think a pickle worm) boring into the blossoms and down into the fruit than having the base of the plant being destroyed. But squash bugs are now finishing up the job of destroying my plants.  I have a long season here so I just replanted some squash, hoping the pests will have finished their cycles.


Another  interesting thing about the SVB moth which looks more like a wasp.  It flies during the day, hovering around the base and lower stems to lay eggs.  In SE NC this happens during May and June with the eggs hatching a few weeks later,  This period of time is the only time insecticides are useful.  Neem breaks down faster than synthetic insecticides and has to be sprayed every 3-5 days.  After the worms start boring into the plant, the only remedy is to cut them out and bury the wound while hoping the plant will heal.


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Re: Foiling the Squash Vine Borer; Great Stuff Foam on Squash Vines?

Post  CapeCoddess on 8/8/2016, 9:25 am

No, the foil did not work. But I may have placed it under the plants too late. The eggs may have already been laid by the time I got the foil under them. Or the borers may have already burrowed into the plants and I didn't see it. This year I wrapped netting around the base of the plants as soon after they sprouted as I could. I'm not sure if it works yet or not as I planted so late, trying to out calendar him, and the plants are still tiny.  

Last year I tried sticking straight pins through the stems after I saw the frass. I had read that that works but it doesn't. Unless I did it too late and they had already damaged the plants enough to kill them.. or maybe too many pin holes killed them.

Another year I was so mad that I made a hole above where I thought the borers might be and squirted dish soap down into the stem. They came out their original hole and died but the plants did also.

In my first year I tried the operation thing. You slice open the stem, get them out, put the stem back together and bury it under the dirt and it's supposed to reroot. The plants died. Apparently I'm not a very good surgeon.

Something's gotta work. Every year I say I'm never going to plant squashes again and every year I try.
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Re: Foiling the Squash Vine Borer; Great Stuff Foam on Squash Vines?

Post  sanderson on 8/8/2016, 11:12 am

CC, It sounds like you have a love-hate relationship with the SVB, sort of a Caddyshack relationship. Smile

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Re: Foiling the Squash Vine Borer; Great Stuff Foam on Squash Vines?

Post  Ginger Blue on 8/8/2016, 12:04 pm

I'm sorry to hear the foil didn't work.

An article I recently read suggested injecting stems with beneficial nematodes.  The author didn't provide more detail, so I interpreted the action as "flooding" the hollow of the already damaged stem. The environment is moist enough to keep the nematodes alive - but I don't know if they would kill the grubs quickly enough to prevent significant damage or death to the plant.  Might be worth a try....

study

To further define the thought, as an early intervention measure, I wonder if injecting the main stem before there's visible borer damage would allow for distribution of nematodes through the entire stem system, such that larve would be infected as soon as they start burrowing.  Of course, the intervention would have to be well-timed, so the nematodes wouldn't starve before the larve appeared.


Has anyone tried this?

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Re: Foiling the Squash Vine Borer; Great Stuff Foam on Squash Vines?

Post  CapeCoddess on 8/8/2016, 12:25 pm

That's intense. I'm not positive but it seems to me that there are different nematodes that destroy different kinds of bugs and grubs. You have to get the right nematode to kill the borer larvae.  And, like you said, somehow keep it fed and alive until it's time to do its job.

Another thing to try would be to keep succession planting the zucchinis, delicata, Patty pans or whatever in hopes that the svb won't be able to get them all and will eventually be gone when the later ones  are coming up. But you'd have to have a lot of space.  Maybe I'll try that next year.
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Re: Foiling the Squash Vine Borer; Great Stuff Foam on Squash Vines?

Post  Scorpio Rising on 8/8/2016, 6:28 pm

I tried the surgery thing too, and no, it doesn't work.  

Have you moved the whole squash bed, CC?  Is it the larvae from the prior season that get into the stems?  Or just freshly laid eggs?

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Re: Foiling the Squash Vine Borer; Great Stuff Foam on Squash Vines?

Post  CapeCoddess on 8/8/2016, 6:45 pm

@Scorpio Rising wrote:I tried the surgery thing too, and no, it doesn't work.  

Have you moved the whole squash bed, CC?  Is it the larvae from the prior season that get into the stems?  Or just freshly laid eggs?

I'm not sure where the borer moths are coming from. But I move the beds every year. This year I've spread them out so they are all over. A couple years ago I grew the squash in pots of straight compost on the other side of the house.

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Re: Foiling the Squash Vine Borer; Great Stuff Foam on Squash Vines?

Post  BeetlesPerSqFt on 8/11/2016, 1:55 pm

@Scorpio Rising wrote:I tried the surgery thing too, and no, it doesn't work.  

Have you moved the whole squash bed, CC?  Is it the larvae from the prior season that get into the stems?  Or just freshly laid eggs?
SVB overwinters as cocoons in the soil, and then they emerge as adult moths that can fly from one bed to another: It's freshly laid eggs.

My zucc got SVB'd, but I caught it early - pre-wilting. I was removing mildewed leaves off my neighboring yellow squash, and noticed something strange where the leaf attaches to the stem (not where the stem attaches to the 'trunk', oddly). Cut it open - Borer. Immediately checked my zucchini trunk. Frass. pale They apparently laid above my foil wrapping, and I think at a seam where I must not have quite overlapped.

Did surgery. I slit parallel with the way it grows, so as to avoid severing veins running through the trunk. Used a toothpick to go in and pry outwards, managed to extract 3 borers. Smaller than the ones I removed when I did surgery last year. I hope I got all of them, I didn't want to do further damage by prying open the stem to get a good look. I wrapped the wound with plastic wrap because it felt right (also, hard to bury the stem because it's in an Earthbox). It's been over 48 hours, no wilting, so I think I'm good to go... except for the mildew.

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Re: Foiling the Squash Vine Borer; Great Stuff Foam on Squash Vines?

Post  has55 on 8/11/2016, 5:34 pm

@CapeCoddess wrote:
I  grew the squash in pots of straight compost on the other side of the house.
how did that go?

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Re: Foiling the Squash Vine Borer; Great Stuff Foam on Squash Vines?

Post  Ginger Blue on 8/11/2016, 5:35 pm

Yay Beetles!!! cheers  

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Re: Foiling the Squash Vine Borer; Great Stuff Foam on Squash Vines?

Post  Scorpio Rising on 8/11/2016, 8:31 pm

You took a more "laparoscopic " approach, Beetles.  I was doing a more open approach.  I think I did too much damage to the plant....fingers crossed!

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Re: Foiling the Squash Vine Borer; Great Stuff Foam on Squash Vines?

Post  CapeCoddess on 8/12/2016, 11:16 am

@has55 wrote:
@CapeCoddess wrote:
I  grew the squash in pots of straight compost on the other side of the house.
how did that go?

They got hit and died after producing one fruit each.  Mad  Those are them in the photo at the beginning of this thread.

Beetles, nice job. I tried micro surgery, too, but at first I found that I missed some borers further up and the plants died. So any following surgeries when up and up, finding borers, until I hit the solid part. Guess it was too much for the plants. Sad
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Re: Foiling the Squash Vine Borer; Great Stuff Foam on Squash Vines?

Post  Scorpio Rising on 8/12/2016, 7:03 pm

Yeah, my post-op plants did not do well at all.  

The move to the raised beds/SFG changed my luck.  I had tried for 8 or 9 years to get my beloved Patty pans to grow here in the dirt.  No go.  Number 1:  dirt is bad and clay and number 2: I had no idea what was wrong until like the 5th or 6th year when all my flowering plants would just start dying.....grrrrr.  But the SFG fixed it...for now.  (Fingers crossed emoticon)

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Re: Foiling the Squash Vine Borer; Great Stuff Foam on Squash Vines?

Post  BeetlesPerSqFt on 8/13/2016, 10:10 am

Sounds like surgery is only an option for patients with small infections that are caught early. I don't know if there isn't a big population where I am, or if I've just been lucky. There's a farm down the road that grows pumpkins. I'd figure there be a lot of SVB resulting from that. Maybe they spray and I accidentally benefit. CC, Do you have any organic pumpkin growers near you?

The zucchini is still alive, though it's losing additional leaves to the mildew.

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Re: Foiling the Squash Vine Borer; Great Stuff Foam on Squash Vines?

Post  CapeCoddess on 8/13/2016, 12:38 pm

Argh, the dreaded powdery mildew. I bought a few seeds of Dunja zucchini because it's supposed to be resistant but I haven't been able to confirm that yet because apparently it's not SVB resistant.

So I was walking by the yellow crookneck squash this morning and the leaves looked a little limp. I thought it might due to the netting, that I had wrapped around the stem, holding water on the leaf stems. Lo and behold behold the SVB got it. There was a little entrance hole down at the bottom and frass everywhere. I did notice the netting seemed to be moved down a little bit sometimes and I had to pull it back up and tighten it. How SVB ever got it that low I don't know. Must have pulled down the netting with its little SVB hands. Grrrrrrrrrr. Another experiment bites the dust.

Oh by the way, whoever sent me these seeds would you please PM me? I neglected to write down who they're from and I wanted to give you a happy update.

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Re: Foiling the Squash Vine Borer; Great Stuff Foam on Squash Vines?

Post  CapeCoddess on 8/15/2016, 11:56 am

So I emailed my county extension office asking for the approximate date that SVB stops laying eggs in my area. They don't know but sent me this interesting link:

http://www.extension.umn.edu/garden/insects/find/squash-vine-borers/


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Re: Foiling the Squash Vine Borer; Great Stuff Foam on Squash Vines?

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