Squash Borers Cycle

squishsquash(07)July 10, 2014

Is there a place to look up or call to find out when the life cycle is over? I read an article today that in NJ, they usually stop laying eggs around July 4th, but I found just a few eggs this week. I also noticed a leaf turning yellow on a zucchini last night, and found two little suckers in there-only about 1 cm! Yanked that baby up! I am going away, and four out of the 10 plants I have are under row covers and I want to set them free to bees while I am gone. I've been plucking eggs on the others-obviously missed one. This is maddening!!!!

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theforgottenone1013(MI zone 5b/6a)

If you say the article mentions that they stop laying around July 4th then they should be done soon. It's not like the little buggers have a calender. :)


    Bookmark   July 11, 2014 at 2:11PM
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I spray the leaves with Neem oil and it seems to have reduced the cucumber beetle population. I also spray the young leaves so that the new leaves will have the Neem oil too. Before I use the row cover, I spray the plants with insecticidal soap. I only spray in the evening to avoid poisoning the bees.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 2:12PM
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I'm so sick of those b*stards! I lost my first round of pumpkin plants to them, tore them out and started over. Now my vines are running, looking beautiful out there and this afternoon I see 2 buzzing around the patch. Urgh. I did put up a trap for them and have caught 5 so farâ¦.satisfying but begs the question: how many didn't I catch?

Anyhow, not sure about NJ but the season isn't over for them in New Orleans yet!

I haven't found eggs. How hard are they to spot?

    Bookmark   July 17, 2014 at 11:43PM
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Stephanie, try to encourage your vines to root as much as possible. Make sure the base of the plants are well mulched and covered up so that the moths cannot lay any eggs on them. Once the vines get big enough, you will find many of the runners will survive SVB attack. I've found plenty of my vines, where the borer has done its thing, and has exited, leaving a big hole , but the vine remained alive. A fully established pumpkin vine is pretty resilient.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 12:36PM
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Ccabal, you made my day! I've been feeling so defeated by those dang bugs!

My largest plants have a main vine about 8-10 feet. The others are about 5 feet. Would you consider vines that size fully established?

I'm also growing some little pie pumpkin plants up a trellis. Those vines are much shorter, maybe 3 feet, and thinner in diameter. Would they be safer on ground where they could reroot?

Thanks!! :D

    Bookmark   July 18, 2014 at 3:35PM
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Yeah that size is pretty established, as long as they are free to root in many different places, should be good.
My routine is every few days I pick up some of the long runners, inspect for eggs, and if clear I would bury or mulch that section of the vine. That helps.
Check out my blog, you might find it interesting http://cabalgarlandtxgarden.blogspot.com

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 10:12PM
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Well, the cycle was NOT over July 4th!!! I just left for vacation last Sunday, the 13th and I uncovered my precious cargo's row covers to be exposed to the bees while I was gone for the week. THAT very day, before I left, as I was shooting the plants with neem (I also have powdery mildew which has worsened since uncovering), I SAW ONE!! I couldn't believe I finally saw one of these evil monsters! Imagine my disgust and failure driving off for my trip knowing I was leaving my plants for destruction. So I came home today and it seems I found most eggs on the young plants I just transplanted (they were never under cover). I had a back up crop in pots and the darn borers got it. I plucked eggs as much as possible, cut off any leaves that looked like they had any inkling of a birth. In my paranoia after seeing the moth last Sunday, I did pop more seeds into pots, so I do have a couple seedlings. So good news is, I did come home to 4 golden egg squash, 1 lebanese, 2 crooked neck, and some nice eggplant. Bad news is, the powdery mildew went crazy and the cucumber beetles outnumber my mosquitos, the blight is back and now my eggplants look sad. This gardening thing is crazy!

Stephanie, I think the eggs are easy to spot. I find most of mine on the leaf stems and not the base of the plant like most articles say. They are tiny reddish/brown spots, easily removed and crushable with a fingernail.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 5:16PM
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I feel your pain!

One of my plants got powdery mildew as well, which seems pretty easy to control, thankfully. No cuc beetles yet (fingers crossed).

I've had it up to here with the dang borers. It may be a little late but if you are interested, I ordered a Vine Borer Trap from Hollands and there are 5 dead borer moths inside within a couple days (woo-hoo). But I did see 1 dead bee in there with them.

Anyhow, good luck!

    Bookmark   July 21, 2014 at 2:30PM
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Thanks, Ccabal, ill check it out!

    Bookmark   July 21, 2014 at 2:35PM
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