The Q&A Archives: squash vine borer eggs

Question: I have squash vine borer eggs all over my squash and pumpkin plants. Do I hand pick them, or is there another way to get rid of them? (I already have to cut open the stems to remove the mature borers. AGAIN.) If I have to pick them off, what do I do with them after I pick them?

Answer: You must control this pest, the borers will destroy the vines and they are also a vector for a serious wilt disease. Handpicking the eggs will work although you must check every few days as they can hatch in as soon as a week. Parasitic wasps may also attack the eggs. In my experience squishing them is effective, they can be scraped into a coffee can or similar container.

If you do not control them at the egg stage you will need to spray. Carbaryl (Sevin) may be effective but it must be applied just as they hatch; there are other chemical controls available. Please consult with your local county extension for the most up to date recommendations on what to use in New Jersey along with the best time/way to apply it for maximum results.

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