Zucchini parasites


Old 07-21-02, 02:19 PM
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Question Zucchini parasites

Something is eating my zucchini from the inside of the stalk and killing the plant. It only eats the zucchini ,i think. Any info on what it might be and how i can stop it?Thanks
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Old 07-21-02, 06:08 PM
marturo's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2001
Posts: 1,448
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Hi sallen1,

I believe what you have is the Squash vine borer. If you will look at the first 8 inches of the stem, you will find 1 or more holes.

There will be what we call frazz around the entrance hole. I just started the seeds for my second crop of Squash & I am in the moutains of NC.

In mid Aug, I would have a die off from Downey mildew it's too cool at night then. If you want to try and save the plants then.

Cut the stem open longways & grab the grub with twesers. Or replant & take a wrap of tin foil around the first 10 inches of the stem to prevent this from happening at all.

I would replant a second crop use tin foil & enjoy your Squash for a longer season. I have done the operation years ago before I found out about the tin foil. However only 1 out of 10 made it & they were played out in three more weeks anyway.

A lot of gardeners use successive plantings of Squash for a more robust Squash production. All vegetables have a begining a peak & a decline the trick is to pull, and replant just after the peak. Nursing old Vegetable plants is a waste, because they don't taste or look as good, so only keep them untill the peak is over.

Old 07-23-02, 07:33 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Uxbridge, Massachusetts
Posts: 273
Hi sallen1,
Just to reiterate what Marturo said, it definetly sounds like the squash vine borer. Fortunately, I've never had to deal with this bug myself, but I do know of a couple of treatments...

First, there is always the good old reliable garlic pepper spray that seems to work on everything the slinks or slides through the ground In a saucepan, bring 3 cups of water, 7 peeled and crushed garlic cloves, and a tablespoon of cayenne pepper to just under a boil. Let it go for about 5 minutes. Strain it, pour it in a spray bottle, and let it sit for 3 days. Spray the plants. Everything will be offended by the odor, thus almost eliminating the problem all together.

Secondly, beneficial nematodes feed on the larvae of the SVB. I'm sure you can get them from a garden shop, and then can be stores in the fridge. I know it sounds repulsive to keep bugs in the fridge, but I've heard that people do it. Good luck!


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