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runfox
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Joined: Tue Mar 02, 2010 12:41 pm
Location: Central Florida

Help something ate my Zucchin and Squash plants

Hey everyone, I had a real successful crop of Zucchini and summer squash this summer. I planted my winter garden right before labor day, and my zucchini and summer squash were looking good.

But then I noticed the Zucchini started wilting and the leaves looked brown. I see small ,black bugs, they look about the size of ants but they can fly.They are eating the base of the leaves and the leaf stems from the inside out. The zucchini never got to flower or produce any fruit before it got attacked, now they have spread to my summer squash which were producing, but are fading fast. Whatever this is, it is only attacking my zucchini and squash, everything else is looking great.

[img]https://i255.photobucket.com/albums/hh144/Runfox/Garden%20and%20Chickens/CIMG0218.jpg[/img]
[img]https://i255.photobucket.com/albums/hh144/Runfox/Garden%20and%20Chickens/CIMG0223.jpg[/img]
[img]https://i255.photobucket.com/albums/hh144/Runfox/Garden%20and%20Chickens/CIMG0220.jpg[/img]
[img]https://i255.photobucket.com/albums/hh144/Runfox/Garden%20and%20Chickens/CIMG0219.jpg[/img]
[img]https://i255.photobucket.com/albums/hh144/Runfox/Garden%20and%20Chickens/CIMG0222.jpg[/img]

I can replant them easy enough, but I have to get a handle on the problem or I will repeat my troubles again. I have no idea what these bugs are or how to kill them.

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Francis Barnswallow
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As a fellow Central Floridian, I can say that my zucchini looks exactly the same as the ones in those photos. I posted a topic regarding this earlier, and I'm about to rip the plant out of the garden. :cry:

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runfox
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Joined: Tue Mar 02, 2010 12:41 pm
Location: Central Florida

Did some research, I think the problem is the vine borer. Its a moth that depsoits the larve on under side of leaves, when they hatch the leaves turn yellow and plant suddenly dies.Some of the chemicals used are pyrethrum, malathion or Sevin. Thats the only problem, I keep my garden organic and don't want to us chemicals.So Ill have to find some alternative to those chemicals.

May have found an organic option, The only organic insecticide that kills the larvae before they do the damage is BT, short for Bacillus thuringiensis. This product is more commonly sold under the brand names Dipel or MVP. It is a dust that is non-toxic to humans and beneficials but highly effective against caterpillars and hornworms. You can purchase this product through on-line catalogs such as Gardens Alive or locally at many garden centers

Now I have to locate this stuff.

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rainbowgardener
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Location: TN/GA 7b

I was thinking also thinking squash vine borer, but in the picture I didn't see the classic one which is a lesion in the stem a few inches above the soil with sawdusty looking stuff (frass, which is droppings) coming out of it.


the SVB's will take a big healthy plant and reduce it to a shriveled mess in just a few days. They burrow in the stem and cut off the plants circulation.

If you type squash vine borer in the Keyword box that comes up when you click on Search the Forum above, you will find tons written here about it. (It's also known as zucchini root borer and there are other posts under that name also)

Don't even bother with malathion or any of those nasty chemicals... the ZVB's are burrowed in to the stem and protected, so the chemicals don't work, even if you did want to spray poison in your garden.

I hate them! Nothing else in my garden totally destroys a healthy plant so fast...
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garden5
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The SVB is a plague that is detested by many a gardener. The life-cycle of the bugs makes them so hard to kill, and even if you do get all of the SVB in your garden, the adult moths will just come over from your neighbor's yard next year.

There are a few things you can do, though. One of them is to rotate your plantings. This helps a little bit since they will be growing in ground where the SVB is not hibernating. However, since the adult form is a flying insect, it will probably just fly over and infect the plants anyway :?.

Another effective thing you can do is put a floating row cover (think really light fabric) over the plants for the period of time that the adults are flying around laying eggs.

If your season allows for it, you could plant a second crop, which may mature after the the SVB are burrowed into the ground or at least after the adults are done laying eggs.However, in some climates, there are two hatchings of SVB, so it kind of tips the scale back in their favor.

Some have reported that wrapping aluminum foil around the bases of the plants works, but I've never tried it.

Lastly, I've read that butternut varieties are lowest on the "preferred squash list" of the SVB. It might not be a bad idea to plant some of these next year with the zucchini. This way, if they pile on the zucchini, you may still get some squash.
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runfox
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Joined: Tue Mar 02, 2010 12:41 pm
Location: Central Florida

SVB confirmed, I went out and pulled up the dying zuchini plants, did some investigating and found a small green catipliar in one of the stems. So my zuchinis are a wash and they are destroying my summer squash as well.
I have good weather still before I get any freezes in January, so I will replant, and I can still get fruit. I am wondering if there is anything I can do to eleiminate the hibernating worms in the ground before I replant? Any suggestions?



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