The Q&A Archives: Using Pyrethrum on Shriveled Squash

Question: I e-mailed a question earlier concerning a problem with my squash shriveling. I purchased a bottle of pyrethrum spray and when I used it found quite a few pests hiding that I had not been able to find earlier. These included slugs, something that lookslike a drawing of a wireworm in my gardening books and a few small caterpillar-like worms hiding in the tips of the stems where baby squash had been removed. I also found the same worm in a blossom and a squash with a small hole in the end where the blossom had been. Do you think these small worms are my culprits? Any suggestions on deterring them? I have sprayed twice in 3 weeks with Bt.(The squash seem fine and then begin to shrivel up as if the juices have been sucked out and when opened up theyare dry inside, but no insects.) Thanks for all your help! Melinda Bartoszewicz Tallahassee, FL

Answer: As I said earlier, I think the problem has more to do with watering and lack of pollination, than with insects attacking your squash. Pyrethrum spray is toxic to bees, so you're probably causing more of a problem by spraying. Try keeping them well watered and hand pollinating a few blossoms to see what happens.

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