squash vine borer

Asked July 28, 2013, 5:54 PM EDT

I seem to have a bad problem with squash vine borers. This is my 4th year growing squash, pumpkins and melons. The 1st year I lost everything. I cut the base of the vine open to verify it was a vine borer then pulled and burned all the plants. Every year I change the location of the patch, and apply liquid seven multiple times to the leafs and base of the plant. I dont spray when the plants are in bloom. twice a season I also check the leafs for the eggs and scrape them off and destroy them. Still every year I lose some plants( 2 so far this year). There are no commercial farms near me growing these types for plants. Why am I having such a hard time controlling these. Is there a better method I should use? My grandfather and father-in-law have grown squash for 30 plus years and have never had this problem and they live within 10 miles of me. Thank You. for your help

Barry County Michigan

1 Response

I think you may be confusing squash vine borer eggs with squash bug eggs. Squash bugs lay a group of 30 or so copper-colored eggs on the leaves. Squash vine borer lays single eggs at the base of the plant. Go to http://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=2551 to see a discussion on vine borer and pictures.

You are doing what you need to do and spraying Sevin at the base of the plant, unfortunately they often are out when the plants are in bloom. So that is why you are not getting good control. You need to have a protective layer of Sevin on the plant when the eggs hatch since you are controlling the larva not the adult. Spraying at the base and spraying just before sunset will minimize bee exposure.

Your grandfather and father-in-law will be found eventually.

Let me know if you have more questions.

Ron Goldy