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engineeredgarden
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The grim reaper of all cucurbits

I found this while inspecting my zucchini plants yesterday. For any new gardeners out there - this is the moth of the squash vine borer, called commonly just SVB. I'm actually amazed that it allowed me to take its' picture, as most fly away when spotted. They visit the plants in the daytime, and lay a single egg on the vine of pumpkin and summer squash mostly, but can certainly attack other members of the cucurbit family as well. It was snatched up quickly, then placed into a vial filled with alcohol for safe keeping.....

EG

[img]https://i32.tinypic.com/5ob03q.jpg[/img][/img]

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Kisal
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Very nice pic! :)
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firstimegardener
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Ok, I know it's a bad bug and I appreciate the picture...but maybe I'm weird, but i think it's pretty...but I'll still kill it so I can keep my plants....

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engineeredgarden
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For the record, I think it's pretty too, but still had to go.....I like cucumber beetles, because they're cute.

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Anna63
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agree, this bug is the grim reaper for cucumbers.
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FieldofFlowers
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As a kid I used to enjoy them. I loved catching them and examining them, as well as their raspberry borer cousins. (the yellow and black ones that look identical in size/shape. https://www.uiweb.uidaho.edu/so-id/entomology/Raspberry%20crown%20borer-ad.jpg) Both are pretty to look at.

If it weren't for me growing squash, I'd still share the same awe watching them. They are fascinating how well they mimic wasps, down to even breathing like one. If you hold one it will even try to "sting" by pointing the tip of its abdomen and bearing down. Of course it won't hurt, but if it is female, she may try laying an egg or two.... They also make a low buzzing sound in flight, like a wasp.

Interesting no doubt, but I keep wanting to ask them "Why can't you just attack the leaves like normal moth larvae?" and then getting mad that they have chosen to attack the stems/roots and kill the plant instead.
Please excuse some of my typos. My keyboard has a busted spacebar.

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gixxerific
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They live in my nightmares.

Pumpkins are done for, thanks a lot.

But I planted new seedling I have to protect these this time.

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engineeredgarden
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Does anyone know which sex this one is - male or female?

imafan26
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Re: The grim reaper of all cucurbits

Would row covers or netting help prevent SVB?
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rainbowgardener
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Re: The grim reaper of all cucurbits

imafan26 wrote:Would row covers or netting help prevent SVB?
Yes, if they are put up from the beginning, so you no there's no SVB's in there with your plants, and if they are tacked down tight to the ground. But then it means you have to hand pollinate your plants, because if it is secure enough to keep the SVB out, it will also keep out honeybees and other pollinators.
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imafan26
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Re: The grim reaper of all cucurbits

I grow parthenocarpic cucumbers and zucchini so it is actually better if they are not pollinated by insects. Getting row covers tight to the ground, that would be the trick.
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