Pests and Diseases forum: Battles With Squash Vine Borer and Squash Bugs

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Name: Rita
North Shore, Long Island, NY
Zone 6B
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Aug 4, 2013 5:02 PM CST
Before I grew zucchini I was told it was the easiest thing in the worlds to grow. Plant it and jump back almost because you get overrun with fruit for no effort. HA!

I am growing zucchini and summer squash for the first time ever this year. And what shows up in my garden but the dratted Squash Vine Borer moths. When I first saw one, I didn't even know what it was. I had to go search on line. But I soon found put it was not something I wanted to see around my zucchini and summer squash.

So get out the Neem product and spray the plants weekly in order to kill the eggs. I look and I have actually never seen any eggs. But I still have borers. The Neem does work, hit an egg and it kills it but you only need to miss one!

So I nave lots of squash seeds, I start new plants as replacements for "old" plants that need to go because of SVB damage.

I also inject all my summer squash with Spinosad. Yes, take the liquid and draw it into a syringe and inject into the hollow central stem. The theory being that it kills any borer that does manage to burrow into the plant. It both works and not. It doesn't totally stop my plants from getting borers but it does get many of them. And the plants manage to grow and pump out the fruit in spite of the SVB damage.

So I have an on going battle with SVB. So far no squash bugs, thank goodness.

So chime in and lets compare notes on dealing with SVB and squash bugs.
Name: UrbanWild
Kentucky (Zone 6b)
Kentucky - borderline of 6a & 6b
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Sep 12, 2016 1:30 PM CST
I know this is an old message but figured I'd reply. I don't use sprays of any kind. My zucchini complex was about 5 ft high and as big as two cars side by side. Just when they were starting to produce a few, I noticed eggs...and larvae...and adults. LOTS of them. I only water sporadically but when you get them wet...or their refugia, they climb. That's when I do physical removal. I have killed hundreds in the last 4 weeks...maybe close to 2000. I really stepped up my game after I'd read that squash bugs can transmit squash mosaic. Within the last 2 weeks I lost 2/3 of my plants' leaves, and several fruits, but even as horrible as they look, they are producing. I now plan squash bug killings around watering. I stay on top of it now that they have found my new cantaloupe and butternut squash! I also just made up a garlic spray that I've often used as a deterrent for slugs on hostas out at my folks' house. Basically, the really cheap powdered garlic at several dollar type stores, and water. Let steep for a few days, add a small amount of dish soap, and load into a sprayer that I only use for this stuff. I am hesitant to use on the squashes because I like my squash bees. If you do use the garlic spray for anything, know that you must spray top and bottom surfaces of leaves. If it rains well, you'll need to reapply. Works on flea beetles on greens as well!
Always looking for interesting plants for pollinators and food! Bonus points for highly, and pleasantly scented plants.

"Si hortum in bibliotheca habes, nihil deerit." [“If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.”] -- Marcus Tullius Cicero in Ad Familiares IX, 4, to Varro. 46 BCE

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