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Need help with squash borers

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Need help with squash borers

Post  GloriaG on 8/2/2010, 2:29 pm

I hope someone can help me with this. Since I'm relatively new to vegetable gardening, this is the first time I'm trying to grow squash.

A few weeks ago, I started some Tivoli Bush Spaghetti and Table Queen Acorn squash indoors from seed. Last week I planted 5 beautiful vines outside and squash borers devastated four of them before I realized what was happening.

I was so angry that I wrapped the remaining vine with tinfoil at the soil level and sprayed the vine and the ground HEAVILY with SEVEN. I've direct planted more of each type but I really don't want to keep using harsh chemicals to control the borers if it can be avoided.

Is there any way to keep my new squash safe?
Thanks
Gloria

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Re: Need help with squash borers

Post  Megan on 8/6/2010, 12:01 am

Really sorry to hear that the evil SVB got some of your plants, Gloria. I have never encountered them before (*knocks on wood*!) but maybe someone else here has some advice for you. I am a little nervous myself as I planted some pumpkins late.
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Re: Need help with squash borers

Post  Chopper on 8/6/2010, 12:35 am

This particular subject has gotten a lot of press on our little forum. Try a search for Squash Vine Borer and SVB. It is the worst.

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Squash Vine Borer vs "Stink Bug"

Post  trustinhart on 8/6/2010, 7:44 am

Is there a difference in a SVB and a "stink bug"? I was told by a fellow gardener that a stink bug was harmless. Well, this harmless critter completely destroyed my yellow squash , vines and fruit. this happened in a matter of 3 days. The plants near the base are covered with white baby bugs. I googled it and identified a picture that called it a "marmoated shield bug". I have taken the affected plants out and burned them, but how do I protect my tomatoes!?!?!?


Very disappointed at losing my squash...Kari
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Re: Need help with squash borers

Post  pattipan on 8/6/2010, 12:50 pm

It's a battle keeping ahead of the squash pests and diseases. You need to check for signs daily or they will get ahead of you. I find it amazing that these bugs can zero in on MY SFG. They must have some type of highly developed tracking system!

See this article: http://www.ca.uky.edu/entomology/entfacts/ef314.asp

Learn to recognize the adults, the eggs and and the nymphs (immature bugs/hatchlings).

The Squash Vine Borer adult is a moth, red and black with clear wings. When I first saw one on my squash last year I thought it was a wasp. It's in a class of moths called clear-wings. They lay eggs singly, they oval, reddish-brown and are no bigger than the tip of a pencil. When the larvae hatch they burrow into the stem and eat from the inside. That's the hard part, because usually you don't know they are there until the you see the "frass" (caterpillar dung) coming from the stem and you vine is beginning to wilt!





Squash Bugs are a hard-shelled bug. You can see the adult, eggs and nymphs in the first article link above.

The leaf-footed bug is another new one my squash this year. I found the nymphs first, sucking on one of my winter squash stems! The look similar to a squash bug only bigger and have the flatted "leaf" on the hind legs. Article here: http://www.ent.uga.edu/veg/solanaceous/leaffootedbuts.htm There are different types of the buggers, depending on where you live. I believe mine is the one called Leptoglossus phyllopus. I just saw an adult briefly before it took off.

The nymphs I saw looked like this:


That enough bug talk for the moment!

Do a forum search like suggested and you'll find more info on trying to control the SVB. So far, I think one up in the bug battle...but now (despite treatment) my spaghetti squash has a bad case of powdery mildew. Sigh.

Pattipan
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Need help with squach borers

Post  GloriaG on 8/6/2010, 1:07 pm

Pattipan,

Thank you so much for the information. The photo was especially helpful. As suggested, I've checked the forum and on line, but you're the only one who actually posted a photo of the eggs. It makes it SO much easier when I know what to look for.

I've re-planted the spaghetti and acorn squash and will be VERY vigilant for any signs of borers or bugs. Since this is my first time growing squash, I really appreciate your help.
Gloria

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Re: Need help with squash borers

Post  boffer on 8/6/2010, 1:12 pm

Good pictures, Patti. For all the destruction they cause, frustration they invoke, and dialogue that follows an encounter, I had no idea they were such small, innocent looking things. And people tell of going after them with a straight pin...stabbing the vines trying to spear them? Wowsers
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Re: Need help with squash borers

Post  Megan on 8/7/2010, 9:16 am

As far as I can tell, squash bugs (not SVB) are nearly identical in appearance to stink bugs. They just don't stink when you squish them.
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Re: Need help with squash borers

Post  Megan on 8/7/2010, 12:03 pm

Does this look familiar to anyone?!?! Mad

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Re: Need help with squash borers

Post  pattipan on 8/8/2010, 1:12 am

@boffer wrote:Good pictures, Patti. For all the destruction they cause, frustration they invoke, and dialogue that follows an encounter, I had no idea they were such small, innocent looking things. And people tell of going after them with a straight pin...stabbing the vines trying to spear them? Wowsers

I can't take credit for taking the pictures, only searching for them with Google. Smile The SVB eggs are hard to spot. If you happen to see that moth, you better start looking!

I hope the SVB season is about over, because now I am dealing with powdery mildew big time! We sprayed the winter squash twice the last two weeks with Mildew Cure and at first it seemed to really help. But we've been having more rain now followed by hot weather (almost steamy at times). Perfect conditions for fungus. My spaghetti squash vines look awful -- which were never bothered at all by the SVB! All the spaghetti squash are ripening now (18 last count!), so I hope the vines survive until we can harvest the squash. This afternoon I noticed some starting on the other squash vines. Tomorrow we're going to try spraying with Neem oil instead and see if we can keep the mildew at bay.

Pattipan
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Re: Need help with squash borers

Post  Ha-v-v on 8/8/2010, 8:34 am

Does this look familiar to anyone?!?! Mad

That looks like my zucchini and squash, I was able to keep it going as long as I sprinkled bt dust on them, they would continue to grow .. instead of bushy zuch plant it started to grow out further every time I sprinkled. I dont know how long it will last this way, I think they are almost done.
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Re: Need help with squash borers

Post  sistabelle on 7/18/2011, 2:00 pm

The squash vine borer and squash bug are two different insects. The bug looks like a stink bug and lays golden eggs on the leaves. The borer looks like a wasp and buzzes very loud when hanging around the plants. They lay an egg at the base of the vine, (Only one I'm told but read on) That picture of the nymph looks like an assassin bug, very scary! I wonder if they sting? I just pulled up all of my squash because the borers had gotten to them and they popped open and I saw the bugs inside and they looked like centipedes! ICK ! Some of them fell into the soil and I heard they burrow in and then come out in the spring as the adult. Which is WHICH?? And now........... I won't be able to put row covers to protect next year because NOW they are IN THE SOIL !!! I C K K Y !!! (emoticon gritting his teeth!) Sad
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