plant butcher
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Joined: Tue Jun 16, 2009 1:31 am
Location: Jackson MS

Squash Borer

Ok I have just confirmed the squash borer in my zuchinni and squash, went to look at stem and whole top of plant just broke off and was full of larvae, so now my question is how do i save my other squash plants???? I want these little pests dead!!! will malation work or regular pesticide or what? Thanks for help in advance.

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hendi_alex
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Joined: Sun Jul 06, 2008 11:58 am
Location: Central Sand Hills South Carolina

It is hard to kill borers since they are inside the stems. If they reach the crown of the plant, it is likely done for. I fight borers in a few ways. First, I usually plant squash in small groupings a good distance apart from one another, like 50 feet or further. Secondly, I do succession plantings, as the borers have periods during the summer when they are more or less active. Squash planted during a low active period may get overlooked. Lastly, sometimes I cover the young plants with mesh cloth or screen covers to keep the adults away until the squash plant has reached good size. That way, even if the vines get borers, the plants will have a few weeks of production before the borers do too much damage.

The borer adult is a large black wasp with an orange band around its rear segment. If you see them when they are active, the wasps can usually be swatted.
Eclectic gardening style, drawing from 45 years of interest and experience. Mostly plant in raised beds and containers primarily using intensive gardening techniques.
Alex

polydactyly
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Joined: Fri May 08, 2009 2:19 am
Location: Austin, Texas

I don't know about the other plants, but I had one in mine this year and a friend told me to stick a needle in the stalk right about where you think the borer is a couple of times and when the bug dies, it turns into plant food. I did this and my plant is thriving. I staked it back up (since it was leaning over) and it has squash on it now.

Good Luck with your other plants and I hope this helped :?
"Today is the tomorrow we worried about yesterday"

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hendi_alex
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Joined: Sun Jul 06, 2008 11:58 am
Location: Central Sand Hills South Carolina

The problem with borers is that often a vine will have six or more borers in various stalks. Each of them will eat their way to the crown, and by the time you see their damage at the crown, the plant is so weakened that you may as well do another planting. The needle trick may give some limited success, and as well some surgery to remove the larvae at the crown may help. Tossing a little dirt along the main vine stems will allow them to root and will help offset damage done near the crown of the plant. IMO succession planting gives the best result, as you have a steady stream of young plants ready to come into production and that is a better option, at least for me, than trying to nurse an older plant back to health.
Eclectic gardening style, drawing from 45 years of interest and experience. Mostly plant in raised beds and containers primarily using intensive gardening techniques.
Alex

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