How I killed a squash vine borer

gladgourd(7)September 4, 2008

My tromboncino squash suddenly started to droop and I found the culprit!. In the past when I tried to remove the SVB worm, I would cut into the vine too much. This time, I used my seam ripper from my sewing kit. It allowed me to pinpoint where the borer was and easily remove it without ruining the vine, like I usually do. The vine is growing on my fence. So, I used some tape to cover the wound I created. My DH refers to me as a garden surgeon now! The vine took a day to recuperate but is now thriving.

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I'd love to see a picture of a seam ripper! Creativity can be a good thing!

Tahlequah, OK

    Bookmark   September 11, 2008 at 4:56PM
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susanne_in_nl(z6-7 Netherlands)

Excellent creative thinking, GladGourd!

See the below link for a pic of a seam ripper...

Here is a link that might be useful: SEAM RIPPER

    Bookmark   September 13, 2008 at 4:08AM
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Thank you for finding that link. I was just getting ready to take a picture of one for George.
Its the best tool I've found for this task. I've used this several times and am always thrilled when my plant perks back up after removing the nasty culprit!

    Bookmark   September 13, 2008 at 2:49PM
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Thanks for the picture! Okay, so did you insert this seam ripper in past the point where it has two points? Or did you only insert it up to one point?

I've always used my pocket knife. But I have to admit I've had poor results.


    Bookmark   September 15, 2008 at 10:45AM
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great job. i use a needle and syringe to inject bt solution into the vine. i never thought about taping the wound. i will start doing that, thanks!

    Bookmark   September 15, 2008 at 10:04PM
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Hi George,

I take the sharp point of the seam ripper and insert it right where I see that the worm has entered - the saw dust looking frass. The red ball in the picture that Susanne sent stops you from cutting more than you want. I then go up a bit to see if the worm has gone that direction. If I don;t find it there, then I reverse direction. I really like using this tool because it makes a fairly thin cut and it seems to cause little damage to the vine. I've even opened up the vine some to look in there for the bugger. When I find and remove it, I then tape up the vine to keep other things out. So, if you are using your pocket knife, I bet you are not a person who normally sews ;)
I hope this helps.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2008 at 7:57AM
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reba_nc(z 7)

So I had SVB for the first time this year. And the second time. I read they lay their eggs in the beginning if July so after they killed my spring planted vines I started some new ones. The first of September the new ones got wiped out by a SVB, squash bug combo. This was my first experience with squash bugs. Now it's war. I love the seam ripper idea (I've got 2 :) but what does one do about squash bugs?

    Bookmark   October 3, 2008 at 8:55PM
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