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Pest patrol

Posted by AmyinOwasso 6b, Owasso, OK (My Page) on
Sat, Jul 26, 14 at 16:54

I found a squash vine borer on a ground cherry today. Ground cherry is not very close to cucurbits. I thought that was odd. Maybe it was one I hit with my amped up spray. (Castille soap. Garlic powder, vegetable oil, a dropperful of neem from the health food store.) They still fly away after I spray them. Squash bugs ran away, too. I hope they both went away to die. Grasshopper took off, too. I am not fast enough to catch them by hand. I made a molasses trap for the grasshoppers that were eating my popcorn. I have caught 3 squash bugs, a june bug, a potato beetle and a wasp. Exactly zero hoppers. I have ONE ear of popcorn. I sprinkled pollin from the tassles on the silk. None of the other plants have tassles or any sign of ears. Maybe the grasshoppers ate that part. Plus pole beans are overwhelming the stalks (and everything else in there.)


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Pest patrol

Amy, I don't think there is much available organic that will stop bugs in their tracts. I use a broad spectrum insecticide when I have a bunch of insects in a pile, and only spray that spot, but I seldom have those conditions. I understand about not being able to catch bugs by hand. I don't see well enough nor fast enough to catch them. I do however want to try mixing a little insecticide and a little phosphoric acid in wood glue and painting squash bug eggs to see if I can kill the bugs before they hatch. I tried painting them with acid last year but was not happy with the results.

Larry


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RE: Pest patrol

Interesting Larry. Wonder if you could cover them with wax? I keep a roll of tape with me and pull off any I find with the tape. Surprisingly, I haven't found many eggs. That is probably my eyes, too.


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RE: Pest patrol

I've painted squash bug eggs with mineral oil, using a Q tip for a brush. It seems to work. My only real complaint is that the Q tip gets damaged with contact with the rough squash leaf.

George
Tahlequah, OK


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RE: Pest patrol

Amy, I have seen the SVB moths sit and rest on cucumber and muskmelon foliage before, but never have had them lay eggs on them....so maybe the one on your ground cherry was just resting? Maybe it was sitting there looking around for the nearest squash plants. (grin)

George, We're going to turn you in for Q-tip abuse.

For grasshoppers, I like EcoBran, which is a wheat bran bait sweetened with molasses and infused with 2% Sevin. While I don't like using chemical pesticides in my garden at all, I do not mind using EcoBran because it is a targeted bait---affecting only the pests that eat it. It is pretty effective with grasshoppers, but since they are migratory, after you kill the ones you currently have, more just fly in from elsewhere. We have a fairly heavy grasshopper population this year and they've totally destroyed all my beans and have turned all my herbs except Genovese basil into swiss cheese plants. I put out EcoBran and knock their population back and have a few days that almost are grasshopper-free, and then a new horde of them arrives and starts eating everything in sight.

EcoBran is available from Planet Natural. Some people make a homemade bait similar to EcoBran.

Dawn


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RE: Pest patrol

The truth is there are not "hordes" of grass hoppers, but they were helping themselves to the popcorn. At this point I am worried that I've missed squash bug eggs and they will overrun everything. Most other bugs I leave alone because I'm not sure what they are. I have some resident birds that help. I saw a mocking bird with a bug in it's mouth. I think it was a grass hopper. :) I see the white butterflies visiting the bolted radishes. I don't have anything else currently growing for them to bother, but fall brassicas will need to be covered.


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RE: Pest patrol

I see evidence of SVB in the base of the gourd vine. Frass around an obvious hole. Yet, that 2-tone spoon gourd vine is very woody, now. Should I do anything? I do see some wilting occurring, but not everywhere. I don't believe any other part of the vine is buried. The plant is big, now.

And there seems to be this red-colored "dust" all over the tops of the leaves of the gourd vines (both the spoon gourd and bird house gourd). I've searched online but cannot find anything relating. I'd take a picture but the red "litter" is too small for it to focus.

Sorry to hi-jack the thread.

bon


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RE: Pest patrol

I'm inclined to believe this reddish dust I'm seeing is directly from the squash vine borer. The dust is located atop leaves near where eggs are laid. Maybe it is SVB 'hairs'.


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RE: Pest patrol

I think I would poke a pin in the vine around where you see the frass to kill the worm like Dawn suggested somewhere. last year I stabbed them with a knife and wrapped duct tape around the wound. I really don't think that helped. You can also inject bt in the hole. I guess we will both know soon enough whether sturdy, woody plants will survive. My volunteer pumpkin is bowling ball sized now with lots of other starts. It's stems look kind of woody, too. I'm sure it is too much to hope for it to be a resistant variety.

I have not seen any red dust on my plants. Do you have any red flowering plants near by, could it be red pollen?

BTW, I was going to use hairspray on the SVBs today, only I didn't have any. So I used spray on conditioner. If they have tiny hairs, mine are shiny and soft, LOL. This stuff actually seemed to have the most impact yet. I tried not to get it on the plant.


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RE: Pest patrol

Amy. Well, it doesn't take hordes to have a hopper problem. Even a handful can eat a lot. We, however, do have hordes of them this year. Every step I take, they fly up everywhere all around me. I can hardly bear to walk down the driveway to the mailbox because hoppers hop up with every step I take and then some of them land on me. Ever had one grab your finger and hang on? It is the creepiest feeling.

Sometimes corn earworms and European corn borers eat all the silks even before the corn can be pollinated. Sometimes Japanese beetles or the striped beetles that are the mature stage of corn rootworms eat the silks. Sometimes it is grasshoppers or earwigs. Lots of pests can and do eat cornsilk.

We still have the white butterflies too, but no brassicas for them to feed upon so I am not sure what they're eating. They may be finding wild brassicas in the fields.

Bon, If you don't want to slit the stem and remove the SVB grub or grubs (near where you see the frass), then you could heap soil up over various parts of the vine, pat it down firmly and water it. Then, just hope those areas form secondary roots that will keep the plant going if and when the SVBs kill that part of the plant. With this week's cool front possibly bringing rain, it likely would be a good time to try to get some secondary rooting in the cooler, more moist conditions.

I don't know what the red stuff is and don't know if I've ever noticed anything like that.

Dawn


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lol Amy!

I filled a syringe with Spinosad and I found myself jabbing around the area with the syringe while laughing maniacally.

Ya'll I'm REALLY confused. This came from a packet of mixed gourds. In many places on the internet I'm reading it is, actually, a moschata variety. Does this look familiar? I guess I don't understand the growth process and how SVB would be a problem in moschata. The egg hatched before it became too woody? (I guess I'll find out.)



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Svbs killed my butternut squash last year, though it shouldn't have. It got into the vine a long way from the base, which was strange to me, but it was kind of tender there. The vine was growing up a fence and couldn't be buried. They will get into leaf stalks on moschattas...at least they have mine, but it wasn't enough to kill it.


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RE: Pest patrol

Thor and I buried a lot of it today. Oh mah gollies it's frustrating!

BUT I killed a female SVB after working so hard on the eggs. Felt very refreshing in a murderous kinda way.


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So glad you got one of the enemy, Bon. I have come to the conclusion the SVBs are taunting me. I was looking at the grass hopper on the popcorn and an SVB dive bombed me. I sprayed the hopper with the hair conditioner (the only thing I had with me) and zoom, buzzed by an SVB. Maybe it was the one I hit yesterday and it wanted to look pretty again. The hopper was unimpressed. I found the ears on the other corn stalks. One had about an inch of silk left, another just a hole where the silk should have been. I guess they can't pollinate without silks. I want to grow corn for grinding next year, I'm going to have to figure out how to get rid of pests.


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My corn is drying and the damage is hilarious. When I stopped harvesting and left the rest to dry up, I just decided to "investigate" the damage later. I'm not looking forward to it. LOL

Getting them started earlier is the key to missing most the damage according to Dawn and other, though I don't believe the weather in our area was very helpful. We've had a pretty cool summer. Next year we'll be doing a very large plot of corn. Should be interesting. ha!


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I was out fighting the beans that are growing up the corn to pollinate a couple more ears l found. There are so many bean leaves I don't think the pollen would have gotten to the silks at all. I don't think I will grow them with corn next year. FYI hairspray will knock down a SVB. ::Evil grin::


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LOL


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Bon, That little green and yellow gourd is not a C. moschata. It is a C. pepo. As you might recall, SVBs love C. pepo plants.

The reason that C. moschata types of squash/pumpkins are seemingly immune to damage from the squash vine borer grubs is because their vines are fairly, though not necessarily totally, solid. Most other squash/pumpkin types have fairly hollow vines. I guess you could say C. moschata vines are more like a wood dowel or a stick and C. pepo, C. argyrosperma and C. maxima are more like soda straws. If you were an SVB, which one would you generally prefer to tunnel through? This leads us to Amy's problem with butternuts. While the SVBs prefer other types of squash, they sometimes do tunnel through the butternuts and other types of C. moschata. I haven't had it happen here, but know people who have had it happen to their plants. One year I had a huge butternut squash plant that had already produced ripe squash die back to the ground quite abruptly. I had no idea why and since it had not had any symptoms of disease, I assumed SVBs got it. A couple of months later, I noticed it had completely regrown from the roots. That sort of miracle resurrection does not often occur with any kind of squash though.

Amy, Do we dare ask why you had hair conditioner in the garden???? Hairspray? This is all too funny. Apparently I need to carry a bucket of hair products out to the garden with me in case I see anything evil I need to spray.

My pest of the day, y'all, is a bobcat. It is killing all the beautiful mourning doves that sit on the powerlines and fencelines and coo early in the morning, which is a sound that takes me right back to summertimes spent at my grandparents' place in the country where I always awakened to the sound of the doves' cooing. I've been finding bird feathers all over, especially near the wild sunflowers, and today I saw the little wildcat near my compost pile. Then I had a rat in the chicken coop and, later on, a snake on the porch steps. Sometimes I think I should just stay inside all summer long if I don't want to see what hungry animals are prowling around. After butting heads with a bobcat, rat and snake, I would be okay if the only thing I encounter outdoors tomorrow is a squash vine borer. Now that the bobcat it here, all the beautiful little cottontails I enjoy watching every day will begin to disappear one by one.

One year I planted Butternut squash super early. It had to have been in 2012 when the last freeze was in early March. I was harvesting mature squash before we ever saw an SVB moth. That never has happened before or since, but I still get good harvests when I plant summer squash as early as I can. It is trickier with winter squash since they need warmer soil and warmer air temperatures and will just sit there and not grow if they are too cold. Summer squash is not quite a picky about soil and air temps as winter squash.

Dawn


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Dawn, somewhere I read about using hairspray to kill bugs in the house, you know, just cause its handy. When my homemade spray didn't slow down the moths, I went looking for hairspray. Couldn't find any, so I used spray on conditioner...kind of oily/sticky...figured it might weigh them down. The hairspray did bring down a SVB. Squash bugs didn't like it much either, but don't know if it killed them. Hair spray is basically lacquer, can't be good for bugs.


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Amy, I don't know anything about hairspray, but if it is anything like lacquer I would expect it to be hard on plants also.


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I know, I try not to get too much on the plant. They are on to me now, and fly when I come around. I figure I am only briefly annoying them, but it makes me feel like I am doing SOMETHING. I did end one of them. I am hoping the others flew off and died. Who knows. :]


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Yesterday I watched some birds in the Semiole pumpkin vines. I believe they were eating bugs. They were under the leaves at the base of the plant, where squash bugs hide. I would see leaves shake above them. Sure hope they were eating bad guys. They were house sparrows or house finches, which I thought were seed eaters. I couldn't think of another reason for them to play in the squash. Also saw a wasp (on a corn tassle) eating a bug. My pressence was NOT going to stop him. I had never seen that, either.


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That's awesome, Amy. I'm seeing spiders. And even though my slacking brought on what seems to be endless amounts of squash eggs, nymphs are few. I think predators are getting the bulk. I'm not going to chance it. I ripped most of those leaves off.


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