Summer Squash And The Insects That Love Them.

The squash is in full swing at One Squirrely Farm.  I walk through my garden daily to monitor each plant.  I’m either picking ripe fruit or observing the health of the plants.

I noticed the other day that one of  my squash plants was looking poorly.  Upon investigation I found the culprit, I think?

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Notice the wilting of the leaves towards the middle of the plant.

Wilting leaves are a good indication that “Houston We Got a Problem”.

This hole in the stalk is a big clue.

This hole in the stalk is a big clue.

More signs of the squash vine borer.

More signs of the squash vine borer.

This hole in the stalk is from the Squash Vine Borer, Got Him!!! Or at least I thought…..

Lo and behold….

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There’s that Stinker!!!!!!!

Its bad enough to find a stink bug, but to find a stink bug mating in your garden is even worse.  So what to do?  I try very hard each year to NOT use pesticides.  I’d rather keep it organic, so I grab my handy container of (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diatomaceous_earth) Diatomaceous Earth.

Diatomaceous Earth is natural but it will kill the good bugs too.  So I was careful to sprinkle it at the base of the plant and the ground near the base of the plant, paying close attention to not get it on the blooms (don’t want to kill the bees).

At last check the squash bugs had moved on, or hopefully died.  The only way to kill the Vine borer is to cut off the effected stalk, cut the stalk and find the borer and kill them.

Usually you can pack dirt around the area where the worm bored its way into the plant and it will recover.

Pest in your garden is not the end of the world, once the squash plant has died out, I will clean up the remnants and put them in the burn pile, just in case someone left eggs for next years.

Read more about Vine Borers and Squash Bugs here:  http://www.carolinafarmstewards.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/5-ATTRA-Squash-Bugs-and-Vine-Borers.pdf

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