tedln
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 2178
Joined: Thu Jun 25, 2009 10:06 pm
Location: North Texas

Squash Vine Borers!

This is a subject that comes up every year when fairly new gardeners see red wasp looking things dive bombing their squash plants. The subject came up on one of my posts in another thread. I decided that instead of hijacking that thread to go ahead and start the inevitable squash vine borer thread.

I'm protecting my squash this year with netting which I simply lower from the top down each side of my two beds. It does protect the plants, but it also requires hand pollination of the squash. That isn't a big deal since it only takes about fifteen minutes each morning to pollinate my two beds. I would be hand pollinating anyhow since the natural pollinators haven't made an appearance yet.

Most people want to know what the best way to control the SVB is and I think it is the netting. Over the years, I've never found a pesticide or insecticide that is very effective. If you want to point the sprayer straight up in the air, you may hit some of the moths and they may die, but unless you want to stand in your garden all day, every day; pesticides simply don't seem to work. They do have some new environmentally friendly ones out this year that supposedly work, but I chose to go with the netting instead.

I remember one gardener who claimed to have the perfect borer control. When asked what it was, he said he just uses a tennis racquet. He said he hits them as they go into their dive bomb routine and sends them into the next county. Other than netting, that is probably the most effective control I've seen.

Ted
I simply enjoy gardening!

Urban_Garden
Cool Member
Posts: 71
Joined: Sun Mar 28, 2010 4:06 pm
Location: Indiana

I've heard that placing aluminum foil at the bases of the plant prevents them from laying eggs in the squash plant, as well as planting marigolds and what not around and about your squash plants.
"Cultivators of the earth are the most virtuous and independant citizens."- Thomas Jefferson

tedln
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 2178
Joined: Thu Jun 25, 2009 10:06 pm
Location: North Texas

I've also heard and read the foil thing. I believe it is supposed to stop the grub from emerging from the soil. It may be to stop the grub from entering the soil when it drops from the plant. Either way, the grub has already been in the plant and done it's damage.

I've heard the marigold thing for years. Recently, I've read or heard that only the African variety of marigold has any effect. I was listening to a lady representing Scotts gardening chemicals address that question at a Home Depot gardening seminar. She said the marigold is effective, but it actually attracts insects instead of repelling them. She said for them to be effective, they must be planted away from the garden to attract insects away from your garden. I have no idea which theory is correct.

Ted
I simply enjoy gardening!

User avatar
BrianSkilton
Green Thumb
Posts: 547
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 3:59 am
Location: South Dakota

I am planting varieties that are less prone to squash vine borer attacks. Anyway, Tedln, what type of netting do you use? Would row covers work?
Why buy produce when you can grow it?
-Nick

garden5
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 3062
Joined: Fri Aug 07, 2009 9:40 pm
Location: ohio

I'm sure that row covers would work great. What it really comes down to is how small the netting is. You want something that is large enough that the sun doesn't get totally blocked, but small enough so that the borers don't get through.
There's something new growing in the Helpful Gardener Forum! Become a part of it here!

TWC015
Senior Member
Posts: 207
Joined: Sat Mar 27, 2010 12:43 pm
Location: Jefferson Co., Arkansas

I plant mostly the C. moschata species to avoid the squash vine borer. I have not had the borers attack this species.

I have also cut a vine open to remove the borers and the plant still grew fine.

tedln
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 2178
Joined: Thu Jun 25, 2009 10:06 pm
Location: North Texas

BrianSkilton wrote:I am planting varieties that are less prone to squash vine borer attacks. Anyway, Tedln, what type of netting do you use? Would row covers work?
I just use the cheap tulle from fabric stores. It works well.

Ted
I simply enjoy gardening!

Return to “Vegetable Gardening Forum”