The Q&A Archives: Stopping Stem Borers From Getting Into Zuchinni

Question: How can I keep stem borers from getting into my zuchinni plants?

Answer: The best thing is early prevention of the moth that lays the eggs that turn into the borer. The squash vine borer affects vining crops, in particular squash and pumpkin. Adult moths lay eggs on stems near the plant base. After the eggs hatch, white caterpillars with brown heads tunnel into the stems to eat. They cause vines to wilt, even though they are well-watered, and eventually the plant will die. Look for entry holes and sawdust-like droppings at the base of the plants. Slit the stem lengthwise from the hole toward the tip of the vine and remove the caterpillar. Cover the stem with soil and it will reroot. To prevent them, in early summer, cover the plants with a floating row cover until flowers appear, which helps stop the moths from laying eggs. Looks for groups of eggs on stems and squash them.

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