alum. foil to deter squash borer

Asked June 27, 2019, 11:33 AM EDT

I wrapped sm. pc. of alum. foil around the main stem & near the ground of my summer squash plants several days ago. Have noticed on some of the plants that area of the stem & even the stems have turned brown. I pulled one plant up & there is no evidence of squash borer larvae. Could the foil be smothering the plants?

Dorchester County Maryland vegetables abiotic issues

1 Response

Hi- it seems unlikely that the aluminum foil is injuring the stems. It would have to be wrapped so tightly as to restrict stem growth. We suppose it's also possible that direct sunlight on the foil, of long duration, could have burned the area under the foil. Please send photos if the symptoms progress.

The first generation of squash vine borer adults have already mated and larvae should be actively feeding in plant stems. A second generation will be active in Aug/Sept.
https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/squash-vine-borer-vegetables
Jon