Squash Vine Borers - Knowledgebase Question

Milwaukee, WI
Question by sanshus
April 16, 1999
I have read many of your Q&A's on squash vine borers and have decided to try floating row cover this year. When are the eggs laid in the southern Wisconsin area? If I remove the row cover when the plants start to flower, do I still need to use something like rotenone?


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Answer from NGA
April 16, 1999

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The immature larvae of the Squash Vine Borer are the bad guys who damage squash plants. If you can keep the adults from laying eggs on or near the stems of your plants, you'll eliminate the problem A floating row cover will work as a barrier against the adult pests, but the timing has to be just right when covering and uncovering your plants or you'll not only keep the adults away, you'll keep pollinating insects away, too. On the other hand, you might just give the pests an easy entry, along with the good insects. The adult Squash Vine Borer is active from April through early summer in your region, which is quite a long time to keep a row cover over your plants. Instead of a row cover, try planting French Marigolds near the base of your squash plants to repel the insects, and inspect the vines every day or two for signs of eggs. Alternately, you can wrap a foil collar, or piece of pantyhose, around the plant base to keep the adults from laying eggs. As a last resort, you might try burying the vines up to the blossoms to protect them from invasion.

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