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Waging war against the Squash Vine Borer!!

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Waging war against the Squash Vine Borer!!

Post  pattipan on 7/12/2010, 1:21 pm

This morning we got out the big guns to battle the dreaded squash vine borer. Actually...it wasn't a very big gun, but a 12 cc syringe that we got from our local Ag store. Despite our diligent inspection of the vines for the eggs of squash vine borer, some of them got into the main stem (saw the tell-tale frass). We were successful in cutting the larva out of the stem from our zucchini -- so far so good -- the plants seem to be okay for now.

Then last Friday I saw the frass at the base of my Bonbon squash (winter-type). How dare that moth lay eggs on my winter squash! I tried cutting the bugger out of the stem, but I wasn't sure I got him. So...I did some more serious Google researching on organically controlling the pest, and several sites recommended injecting the hollow leaves that come off the base of the main stem with liquid Bt (Bacillus Thuringiensis). The idea is that many times the moth will lay the egg on the hollow leaf stem and then burrow in when it hatches and make it's way down to the main stem. One chew into the treated stem and they're goners. So that's what we did! No sign of wilting, so I hope we got the bugger and any future ones.

I am trying to keep a sense of humor, but it's hard when your produce is at stake. Thanks for letting me vent (not that you have a choice!). I will report back later and let you know if the Bt injections worked and if my BonBon vine survives.

Side note...When my DH told the guy at the Ag store what we wanted the syringe for, he said he never heard of doing that (I think he thought we were nuts). Beside farmers, he said he sells a lot of the syringes to serious grillers (to inject marinade). So there's another source idea if you look for one!

Patti
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Re: Waging war against the Squash Vine Borer!!

Post  Aussie Girl on 7/12/2010, 6:23 pm

Good luck pattipan, I hope you win your battle.

PS - I think you would have to be a very serious 'griller' to go to all the trouble (& mess) of injecting marinade
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Re: Waging war against the Squash Vine Borer!!

Post  Weedless_ on 7/31/2010, 2:09 pm

Where do you get BT?
My pumpkin just got a squash borer, and I need to kill it fast before it hops over on my squash plants.
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Re: Waging war against the Squash Vine Borer!!

Post  pattipan on 7/31/2010, 3:05 pm

Weedless_in_Atlanta wrote:Where do you get BT?
My pumpkin just got a squash borer, and I need to kill it fast before it hops over on my squash plants.

I got the BT liquid concentrate (Tiger brand) at Southern States and the syringe at a local farm supply place.

I have also learned to recognize the eggs, have removed a few...and killed one mother moth. The eggs are laid singly. They are so small it's VERY easy to miss them. Sometimes they'll lay them near the top of a leaf stem, burrow in when they hatch and the larva crawls down to the main through the hollow stem! We've been injecting any hollow leaf that leads to the main stem. I am happy to report we are winning the battle! Zucchini and Bonbon squash vines thriving! Spaghetti and yellow squash have shown no signs of the SVB.

If you can't find the liquid, buy the powder form. Make a bit a paste with it on a sharp knife, then cut a slit near where you see the larva frass and see if you can remove the bugger. If you can't get the larva, the BT paste will do him in! It's important to use a sharp knife, to minimize damage to the stem, one with a longer point is even better.

My DH was talking to a local farmer about what we were doing to save our squash. He thought we were crazy...but later he confessed his squash vines were all devastated by the SVB.

Patti
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