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Squash Vine Bore attack from the top

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Post  Pepper on 7/9/2012, 11:20 am

I have already lost one planting of squash from SVB attacking from the stem at or near the ground. So I replanted wrapping the stem with aluminum foil as a precaution. I put cages around them to keep them off the ground all seems well. These grew just like I expected they should. The first fruit was real pretty BUT when harvested the pickle worms had found it first(cukes in the same bed). OK so treated the bed and now the squash start dying from the growth points. SVB have attacked AGAIN this year!!! I thought they were a one time and done pest. Now this attack is a sneak attack they invaded from the top in the growth area effectively killing production. Squash Vine Bore attack from the top P7083219
and another beachhead Squash Vine Bore attack from the top P7083220
and yet another Squash Vine Bore attack from the top P7083221

HOW DO I STOP THIS CRITTER
Is there a way to kill the adult before they lay the eggs?
Can the eggs be destroyed before hatching?
I was spraying BT on my first planting hoping to preemptivly kill the worm before penetration. NOTHING IS WORKING.

I am now afraid to plant winter squash my yard seems jinked with these buggers..
HELP PLEASE We love squash
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Post  littlejo on 7/9/2012, 11:29 am

The svb has 2 batches in the south. They only bother 1 time in the north, maybe! If they are attacking again now, give it a week or 2 then plant again.
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Post  camprn on 7/9/2012, 11:43 am

I have had some success with slicing open the stem and digging out the worm and then the plant can heal. IF you do this as soon as you notice, your chances are good the plant will survive. I try to do frequent inspections for eggs and the telling frass.

So have at it with your pocket knife. Good luck.

Oh, also, look in the Pests sub forum for more info about SVB and it's management.

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Post  CindiLou on 7/9/2012, 11:46 am

The only thing I can suggest is to cover the squash when little to avoid the moth and hand fertilize the blooms.

Maybe someone can come up with a simpler idea.
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Post  CharlesB on 7/9/2012, 12:14 pm

What kind of squash? I have heard they can't get in to the vines of Butternut.

Some have tried injecting the vines in places with a syringe of BT. Haven't tried it yet though.
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Post  boffer on 7/9/2012, 12:20 pm

Here's a preventative measure that I hadn't seen before.
Slit open wilted vines and remove borers, then cover the cut with moist soil to encourage the vine to reroot. Remove vines as soon as the growing season is over to interrupt the life cycle of second generation larvae. If borers are historically a problem in your garden, place a shovelful of soil at one or more locations along the vines to encourage more roots to develop. If a borer does infest the vine, these additional roots can help the plant survive and produce a crop.
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Post  rjeverett on 7/9/2012, 12:30 pm

@CharlesB wrote:Some have tried injecting the vines in places with a syringe of BT. Haven't tried it yet though.

I tried this for the first time this year and so far it has worked I think! My Zuke was attacked early and heavily, I thought I have nothing to lose might as well try, and it has kept on growing out with both ends of the new growth going strong. Picked a dozen more zukes since the original infestation! The borers and moths are still out and doing their thing but I just inject once a week. The oldest part of the main stem in the middle is struggling, and I haven't attempted to slice it open for fear of hurting the new growth, so I'm just going with the injections this season as an experiment and see how it goes!

I have also planted back ups in the front bed and so far they don't seem to have been noticed by the svb adults. I am injecting them once a week as well for precaution.
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Post  llama momma on 7/9/2012, 1:31 pm

I have liquid bt, can you tell me the dilution ratio you used?
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Post  CharlesB on 7/9/2012, 1:38 pm

@rjeverett wrote:
I tried this for the first time this year and so far it has worked I think!

What locations on the vine do you do the injections? Few inches above the ground, all over, etc.? Do you use a needle or a plastic syringe? Where'd you get it?

Thanks
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Post  rjeverett on 7/9/2012, 2:00 pm

@llama momma wrote:I have liquid bt, can you tell me the dilution ratio you used?

I mixed the solution according to package directions: 1-2 tsps per gallon of water, in a plastic water jug.

@CharlesB wrote:What locations on the vine do you do the injections? Few inches above the ground, all over, etc.? Do you use a needle or a plastic syringe? Where'd you get it?

My sister actually had some unused syringes from medical treatment she was getting, but I have heard some say they can get syringes from their local pharmacy. In the smaller/newer plants I am injecting just about an inch above the soil line directly into the main stem. In the plants that are already infested I try to inject into visible borer holes then at either end of the new/healthy growth. I will sometimes put about half an injection into leaves that have been bore'd into if there are too many to prune, I'll prune the worst off and inject the rest.
HTH! Smile
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Post  llama momma on 7/9/2012, 2:15 pm

I found more details too.

Check out marc-in-pa post, second page,the very bottom post

http://squarefoot.forumotion.com/t12841p15-too-many-squares
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Post  CharlesB on 7/9/2012, 3:24 pm

Thanks for the tips. I am growing a lot of squash and pumpkins this year and I want to be ready if I start getting hit by SVB.

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Post  Goosegirl on 7/9/2012, 7:33 pm

I do not have BT but I do have Neem. I read about it being used for SVB so I mixed some up and just injected my one affected squash. I should know in a week or so if the critter is dead!

GG
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Post  llama momma on 7/10/2012, 4:17 am

I'd be very interested to know if injected neem works too.
Please report your dilution and results.
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Post  Goosegirl on 7/10/2012, 8:45 am

I will let you know the results as I see them (if any!)

GG
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Post  dgram41 on 7/10/2012, 10:56 am

The reason you are being attacked from the top is because of the tinfoil. The SVB laid the eggs higher up & the worm enters @ a leaf stem, etc. I personally think that it's better to not use tinfoil -- that way the SVB can lay eggs where she prefers AND you know where to look for them & the worms. Good Luck!
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Post  Pepper on 7/10/2012, 1:05 pm

First thank you all for the great info and helps for my issues. thankyou I have some BT so will start injecting at my next spraying, I gotta get the hypo's up first.

CharlesB my squash are straight and crook neck summer squash and one hill of Black Beauty zucchini. I want to plant some winter squash for my fall crop so I have to get this SVB under control.

dgram41 you could very well be right about the aluminum foil. It would be better if the attack was at ground level that way I could have mounded up the dirt to help recovery.

GG please keep us up on the neem, I have that also for PM.
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Post  Pepper on 7/10/2012, 1:09 pm

opps forgot to add: I sprayed them all to a good drenching with BT at my last spraying.
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Post  J_in_HamiltonON on 7/19/2012, 10:13 pm

Hi All. Wondering if anyone has any updates yet on their attempts to keep SVB under control by injecting BT? Today I opened up most of my zucchini and spaghetti squash and pulled out too many of the little critters from within the now mushy plant stems. I was surprised by how many grubs were in some of the plants (5 or 6, all different sizes, in the same plant). Which of course makes me worry that I didn't get all of them out, but most likely found all of the big ones. Then I sprayed the inside (affected areas) of the plant with BT and buried in soil as suggested by others. I lost one spaghetti squash plant outright (of course it was the only one with any fruit so far Mad ) but I think the others will pull through. BTW the 18-guage needle I am using for injecting the BT also worked well at spearing the little devils in order to pull them out of the plants Twisted Evil
Can anyone confirm that butternut squash are not attacked by SVB? I have several butternuts growing and they seem to wilt too easily but I cannot find any evidence of SVB damage.
Thanks
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Post  J_in_HamiltonON on 7/19/2012, 10:15 pm

BTW, while most SVB entry holes were located near the base of the plant, I did find one or two holes further up along the stems, including one in a zucchini plant leaf stem. Just goes to show that pest will do anything to be unpredictable.
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Post  CharlesB on 7/19/2012, 10:57 pm

I'm getting hit hard by SVB now. I got some 18 g syringes and applied the BT. We'll see if the plants improve and report back.
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Post  southern gardener on 7/20/2012, 12:39 am

boy, sorry guys! We haven't gotten any of those around here! That would be so frustrating!
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Post  llama momma on 7/20/2012, 5:50 am

Goosegirl

Did Neem help?
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Post  rjeverett on 7/20/2012, 4:03 pm

So, my Zuke has been going strong, despite the borers, despite the drought, and I've been plucking fruit left and right. This week however may be the beginning of the end for it Sad
All week I've been watching, pruning dead stuff, gave the injections, even buried the split stem in hopes of new roots, but it seems the borer may just be getting the better of it. Either that or the squash bugs, which have reared their ugly heads about 2 weeks ago. The plant had been growing across the entire bed and rooting along the way, but now both ends have reached the edges and have no more soil to root into. One of the healthy ends isn't doing so well but no sign of borer damage to it, so that is what has me thinking it may be squash bug damage.
As for my poor little yellow straight neck, this one is GOOD news! She has been small all season, so injecting and keeping tabs on borer damage is easier. I honestly thought she was a goner last week, but after our three days of rain, new growth came out and she is fruiting again! hyper
I will continue to do injections to the zuke, probably with a heavier concentration and bigger doses, and see what happens. I am curious how everyone else is faring at this point!
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Post  J_in_HamiltonON on 7/20/2012, 5:47 pm

I contemplated injecting something a little more "toxic" into the hollow stems in hopes of acutely poisoning the grubs. Thought about trying dilute rubbing alcohol, or a salt solution or maybe insecticidal soap or dish soap. My thinking is that this would kill all sizes of the grubs, not just the small ones that actually feed on the BT bacteria. But I didn't follow through b/c I didn't want to kill the plant in the process. Maybe I will plant extra's next year and try out a few concoctions.
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