Another SVB question.

Kitchens by DesignJuly 20, 2012

I thought I had finally thwarted the SVB but tonight I went to check the garden and there was the telltale damage. A quarter sized area of yuck. However, the plant still looks great and the area is about 18" from the plant base. Will the grub travel towards the base of the plant? It has a long way to go. Will it live long enough do any damage? If I were to slit the stem I could never pick a direction. There are too many joints. Not sure what to do!

Thank you for your thoughts.

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gumby_ct(CT it says Z5)

Either slit it or plant more squash :)

    Bookmark   July 20, 2012 at 10:31PM
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Kitchens by Design

Will it travel towards the base? The damaged area is so far from the base. All the plant's new growth is below the bad area. How long do they live inside the plant?

    Bookmark   July 20, 2012 at 10:52PM
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gumby_ct(CT it says Z5)

I believe it enters near the roots and travels (eats its way) up towards the fruit. They live until the plant dies then tunnel in the soil to over winter.

This feeding action destroys the plants ability to feed itself which eventually kills the plant. Many people think the plant simply died and don't know about the SVB. I know for yrs I didn't.

The AG scientist was the one who told me in our area (CT) that fighting this bug is futile and much easier to just plant more squash plants AFTER July 4th when the moth cycle is complete.

It is the hollow stemmed squash plants which are affected.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2012 at 11:17PM
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Some enter at the base, some enter further up. You can often see the hole where they enter. When I've seen the hole higher up, I've had some luck killing the worm by cutting off the leaf -- down near the stem -- and then slitting it. Often it's right near the hole. But they are VERY small when they first enter and hard to see.

But if you have one you likely have more... My understanding is that the plant can live a while... how long depends on how many get in, how healthy the plant was to begin with, etc.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2012 at 11:21PM
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I just put out more squash and found 3 SVB eggs this morning. I noticed the first SVB damage in May. I am wondering if the warm weather is giving them an extra generation this year. Anyone else notice this?

    Bookmark   July 20, 2012 at 11:26PM
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gumby_ct(CT it says Z5)

I think it depends where on this glorious planet you are?

    Bookmark   July 20, 2012 at 11:38PM
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howelbama(7 NJ)

I have been having very good luck injecting my pumpkin vines with BT. Takes a lot of vigilance and is time consuming, but it is working well.. I go out and look for entry points every two or three days and inject. I inject the BT at several points, both above and below the entry points, I have cut off a few leaves a couple of days after injecting and found the dead worms in the leaf stem, so it does work, it is just a challenge to keep up with and requires thorough coverage of the vines.

The sections of the vine that have been damaged go from pale white back to green within a few days of injection, indicating the worm is dead and has stopped feeding.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2012 at 1:16AM
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You can start with the hole and slice downward. If they enter higher up (which they can and will from my nightmare experience) they seem to head downward. If you can find it, great, but even if not you can bury that part of the plant and it will put down new roots. I kept mine alive through several attacks this way. My problem was my squash quit producing female blossoms. I guess it was the stress. I finally threw in the towel, which alleviated my stress! Next year I am going to try row covers and maybe the bt injections. I had two generations - a heavy one in May/June and a second a week or so ago.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2012 at 2:53AM
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I heeded the advice to wait until the SVB had finished laying eggs (about July 4) to plant. Yesterday I was out in the garden and ran off 3 SVBs. They surprised me and I wasn't ready or they'd be dead!!

    Bookmark   July 21, 2012 at 11:35AM
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