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SVBs when

Posted by daninthedirt 8b (My Page) on
Sat, Apr 20, 13 at 13:35

I think this question gets asked several times every spring, but I've never seen a good answer. WHEN can one expect to see the squash vine borers around? (I'm in the Austin area.) I don't want to mess around with BT, Sevin, etc. etc. netting, hypodermic needles, etc etc. until I really have to. Are we already there? Anyone seen them yet? May? June? Can I assume they are gone by late July? When do you assemble the troops and load the guns?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: SVBs when

I haven't noticed them yet however if were you I'd go with preventative maintenance. If you wait for then it may be too late.


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RE: SVBs when

Well, I guess if I'd asked this in February, one could say the same thing. Preventative maintenance. Do SVBs wait until the first flowers come out? Anyone been "hit" before that? What exactly attracts them to these particular plants?


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RE: SVBs when

There were a couple of posts recently about squash vine borers.

Here is a link that might be useful: Here's one of them ...


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RE: SVBs when

Im here in DFW. Haven't seen them yet. I have Hubbard squash growing, and the have started running, and are about 2 ft long vines. They have gotten off to a really good start. They are supposed to be SVB magnets. I have started looking for eggs, but not not see any yet.
I have tulle netting that I have ready to put on them, but have been waiting until maybe early May to put the netting on them. Or I might skip the netting and just bury the vines in many places, and pick off eggs when I see them, and spray with neem oil, and hope that is enough.


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RE: SVBs when

That's useful. Thanks. I'm thinking April to start wondering, and May-June to be in full-up SVB prevention mode. I already have my tulle out, perhaps a bit early.

Yep, Hubbards are SVB magnets. No question.

I'll be burying vines as well, though watering is harder when you're watering on top of a mound. I can trench six inches or so away from the vine, and water there, though I have to wait until the roots get out that far.

But May is when the first flowers come out. Do the flowers attract them? I once heard that yellow is a color that attracts SVBs, which makes me wonder if flowers aren't the bait.


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RE: SVBs when

Their here! Seriously just saw one flying around my brothers pumpkins. Couldn't grab that "rhymes with aster" so I'm still on the lookout for him.


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RE: SVBs when

Where are you at Phoenix? Is been pretty cold the last couple days here in the DFW metroplex. I remember reading that temperature has a lot to do with them they come out.


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RE: SVBs when

San Antonio. The funny thing is that the pumpkins and squash just started flowering so there might be something to your theory.


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RE: SVBs when

It looks like you need to keep a journal on times of arrival for following years. You also could check with your extension agent for basic times.


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RE: SVBs when

Well the pumpkins were direct sown on march 17th while the squash, zucchini, watermelons, cantaloupes, and cucumbers had a two weeks headstart. However all except the cantaloupes and watermelons are flowering right now.


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RE: SVBs when

Here's a pic of my SVB magnets (Hubbard Squash) ... Checked them well today and no signs of eggs yet. THe vines are about 3ft long now and growing about 3 inches a day it seems!


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RE: SVBs when

Saw my first SVB moth this evening, and KILLED it!! It was pretty slow moving, so I slapped it and crushed it. Then started looking for eggs, and only found one on a plant. So the battle has begun here in DFW. My plants are pretty big now, and many have squash growing on them already, so covering all of them with netting might be a challenge. So I've mostly resorted covering them with mulch.


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RE: SVBs when

I don't know about the flowers attracting them. It may be, but I had the dirty devils laying eggs when I had only 4 leaves on my plants. They were only 2-3 inches tall. I get the "Worry Free" insecticidal dust by Sevin. I mix it with water in to a very thin paste and paint it on the stems with a small paint brush below and above the dirt line. Seemed to help quite a bit. Difficult to do later in the season though. Have not tried row covers yet, seems like a lot of work, and how do you know that you have not trapped one under the row cover?


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RE: SVBs when

SId23,
Row covers work awesome, especially for small bush type plants. I had lots of yellow squash and patty pans this summer that I grew under covers. Don't worry about trapping them under the cover. I used tulle netting as cover. If one got trapped, it would doubtless be trying to get out, so you would see it, and it would be easy to kill. The SVB tend to fly in, lay eggs, and go away... they don't really hang around the plants that much


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RE: SVBs when

Cdabal, did you hand fertilize your squash under the row covers or had they already set fruit when you covered them?


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RE: SVBs when

I did it by hand for a while. Eventually I just removed the covers and let the SVBs go to town. By that time I had plenty of squash, so I was not as worried, (my wife was getting sick of it actually!) The reason I had to remove the covers was mainly due to the aphids that got really bad. My plants are still alive... a few got kilt by the SVB but others survived. Recently its been the powdery mildew that's been hitting them, Interestingly its also been a lack of male flowers. But they are forecasting a good freeze next week so that should bring an end to them.
My best plants were by far my "Benning's Green Tint" patty pan squash. Those produced like crazy!


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RE: SVBs when

I've tried all the tricks but the best thing seems to be- first, have a manageable number of squash plants. Then watch for signs of when the moths start to come out, which seems to be late spring/ early summer. Then every day or evening, dip yourself in mosquito repellent, and go out there with an exacto knife and tweezers and look for the eggs. Soon you'll get good at finding them and it will only take a few minutes or so a day. Also you will learn how to spot where the grubs are starting to grow in the vine and you can stab them through the vine, or split the vine and dig them out.. the vines are very resilient. You may need to rebury the vine in those spots if it's too damaged. If there's a root bud or 2 there it will put roots down which will help the vine be more secure & recover. Anyway- it's not too hard once you get used to it. It's just what you gotta do in order to grow squash in the south.


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