Best year for SVB for me in a lot time

CaraRoseAugust 4, 2014

Anyone else have a particularly good year with minimal SVB damage? I know I did see a few moths earlier this year. I did spray my plants with neem a few times. Normally at this point in the season, without having injected BT or cut the buggers out, my stems would be a mess and my plants would be suffering from powdery mildew and looking sickly.

All three of my plants are healthy and I've found no frass on the stems.

Has this just been a good year and the SVB numbers knocked back by the very cold winter? Or did I get lucky with my neem sprayings? Coincidence all around?

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I think it's the Polar Vortex.

I saw one SVB moth here early in July, sprayed Spinosad. No visible signs of borers in the vines.

But even more, there are no cucumber beetles! And no squash bugs! [OK, I know this is invoking the devil but it's getting late to expect them now.]

I'm always totally overrun with CBs. I talked to my son yesterday, who's been so overrun with SBs that he moved his garden.

And like you, I've seen no sign of PM. This may be attributable to my early sprays of Immunox. Or the Polar Vortex.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 12:59PM
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wayne_5 zone 6a Central Indiana

It has been an excellent year year too concerning bugs/beetles.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 1:05PM
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It had to be the polar vortex. In SE MI, too, SVB are missing. Stink bugs are not here every year, but SVB sure do. I have never eaten zucchini in August before, except the first year when they had not found my garden. Though I wonder about the exact cause, because, even with numerous nights below -10F, the grubs were under one foot of snow and inches of soil. Could it be that SVB survive in soil that is 27F, but die in 26F soil?

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 1:38PM
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I don't usually see the cuke beetles, but usually I'm starting to lose most of my plants to wilt right about now. So far this year I've lost one cuke plant to wilt. The other plants have some PM and some other issues, but still growing producing despite lower leaf loss. I can speculate less cuke beetles might be why I'm not getting massive wilting.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 3:14PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

I thought it was having tried squash for the first time in a long time. And cukes. No wilts, haven't seen a cucumber or squash bug. I did see the moth in late June, but I also saw a lot of birds and wasps in and out of that bed, so I thought maybe they took care of it before it became an issue. Lots of cukes and squash this year, wouldn't it be great if it were like this every years!

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 3:54PM
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zeedman Zone 5 Wisconsin

Same lack of major bug problems here. I attributed that to having planted later than usual, and letting most of the garden go fallow last year (which generally reduces insect & disease) but it may have been the weather. Taking a clue from what happened with my garlic, it may have been caused by the torrential rains in May & June in combination with the polar vortex. My soil was so waterlogged that even the earthworms died, so soil borne larvae or pupae probably didn't fare much better.

No swarms of cucumber beetles, no sign of squash bugs or SVB... I say count your blessings, and don't look a gift horse in the mouth. Dare I hope for no corn ear worm this year?

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 4:36PM
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fcc0(Central PA)

My zuchini are dead already here in Central Eastern PA. For me the borers were earlier than usual this year, and that is after a late Spring that shortened the season somewhat. I usually get farther into August before they die out. I have a row of 8 plants, so we are kinda tired of zuchini anyway, but I will miss it in a few weeks!

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 6:17PM
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SVB were a little later this year than last, but still have SB (not as many, I think it's b/c I've been diligent in removing eggs, there were certainly a lot of them a month ago). But tons of SCB which I'd never had before. So far even with all the rain no PM or DM.

Knock on wood - I haven't seen SWD yet this year (raspberries OK - what the chipmunks didn't get), but the wild blackberries aren't ripe yet so who knows. We pulled out a lot of them (in the shady spots) last year b/c infestation was so bad.

I did start more summer squash, 3 hills, 2 seeds each, yellow and green, in my tunnel and they're just germinating now. I hope to have fresh squash though Oct.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 7:00AM
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jimster(z7a MA)

Amazingly, there are no Colorado Potato Beetles here this year. I picked off one early in the season and haven't seen another. This is extremely unusual.


    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 5:15PM
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Cucumber beetles hit my Armenian cucs the second they were transplanted into the garden, and they ate the spaghetti squash plants to death. The spaghetti squash was a 75 foot row :( All squash was under cover after that!

Next I noticed a few squash bugs, so very diligently scraped and inspected for two or three weeks. I'm only seeing a few of the young ones here and there now.

I was surprised by two SVB this year. Usually they move so darn fast I can't kill them, but these were just sitting on squash leaves and I was able to squish them. I don't usually see many of these, or suffer much damage.

The only pest that is currently being destructive is the cucumber beetle and its EVERYWHERE! But damage is minimal.

For me, the polar vortex didn't cause any bugs to lessen and thankfully I'm also having a banner year for ladybugs.

OMG. All ur bugs came here didn't they!

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 6:28PM
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I'm in the NW burbs, and I've been hit with SVB :( And I just noticed the start of powdery mildew today. Boo.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 10:13PM
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I WAS having a bad year for lopers on the broccoli, and good for squash until about three weeks ago, in Raleigh. Mid July almost everything got killed, including the two container plants liberally dusted with Dipel Dust. I even lost the eight ball zucchini I thought were supposed to be resistant to SVB. Only one squash and some pumpkin vines have survived.

I have been debating whether to replant and try for some fall squash.

I am super happy to have five pretty little butternut squash almost ready in the yard though. SVB have definitely pushed me to learn to cook winter squash.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 10:56AM
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Loopers were really bad for me this year. All the collards, kale and broccoli got a nice saltwater and vinegar soak when they were harvested. Started spraying the collards with neem so I'd have a few leaves left to eat.

My major pests last year were aphids/whiteflies, SVBs, likely CBs (since my cukes all died of wilt), and SWD (lost my entire blackberry harvest).

So far this year minimal aphid and whiteflies, no sign SVB damage, only one cuke plant has wilted, and no sign of SWD yet (yet is probably key word).

However I had root maggots in my turnips. Loopers infesting all my brassicas. Also my basil has what I believe is basil powdery mildew which is a new thing.

Overall, though, it's really been a good year in my yard. We'll see how the beans handle the Japanese beetle onslaught

    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 11:17AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

akaRach - LOL

I just pulled Butterball Butternut squash. First year trying it, but I had a change of soil that is more clay and I'm blaming it on that. There were no fruits on the plant and the foliage was showing some yellowing and other discoloration, so I pulled the whole mess and sowed cover crop to try to improve the soil for next year. 

I have to say that I am thrilled with the cucumbers this year. They've climbed to the top of our 7ft trellis and are covered with flowers and small cukes. Very vigorous. We just harvested about 8 cucumbers. No sign of cucumber beetle so far. But again, I haven't grown cucumbers in years. It's not even in full sun. I tried a new variety \- 'Ministro' that I direct sowed. Bought them at FEDCO early spring. The catalog description was so glowing, I had to try them. 

Here's the catalog description: 

According to the FEDCO catalog 2014, Ministro is an   
F1 hybrid, \[49 days\] This sprinter is the Usain Bolt of the   
cucumber world and was a runaway best seller among   
new items in our 2013 catalog. It really did ripen for   
Donna Dyrek on July 15th, 2012, a full 20 days ahead of   
Marketmore, even though she didn't set her transplants   
out until June 22nd. And it really did beat out a   
competitor named Jogger. Vigorous plants w excellent   
cover bear high quality cylindrical 8\-9 inch monoecious   
fruits of the American Slicer type, shiny and thin skinned   
Snappy and crispy, sweet and crunchy. Like a lightening   
bolt, that lingers, they were still loaded w fruit and   
continuing to flower right into October. 'I could go out   
and pick another mess right now" reported Dyrek on   
Oct 11th.   
Resistant to PRSV, WMV, ZYMV 

<img  data-hzurl="" data-pin-no-hover="true" src="" width="500" height="376"/>
    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 11:28AM
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Polar vortex definitely did a number on the JBs here this year, and they're already gone. Vanished.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 12:03PM
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May I ask what influence the Polar Vortex had on bugs?

The cold winters in normally milder climates?

    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 2:53PM
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That's the theory, at least.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 3:12PM
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ediej1209(5 N Central OH)

We were diligent with bT on the cabbage this year, this is the first time we've tried it and it definitely did the trick; we started dusting as soon as we caught sight of paperwhites flying around the plants and never saw any after that. So far, knock on wood, no SVB or SB or Tomato Hornworms. I really couldn't say if it was the Polar Vortex or just a cyclical thing. Whatever, I'll sure take it!

    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 4:02PM
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Same here hardly any damage had one early in a volunteer white pumpkin but I hilled soil at the next section of stem and it re-rooted have saved a lot of plants from SVB that way with a little Bt and/or an old crochet hook

    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 4:52PM
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I had the opposite type of bug problem. I had more than usual in NJ. This year, in addition to SVBs, I have a billion (or more) cucumber beetles and found a few squash bugs. Almost all of my cucurbit types are disease resistant, but all fell to PM. My garden was green and beautiful-now it's a war zone :). I did, however, beat the SVBs. I had a few plants under cover and hand pollinated. Then some were not under cover, and I either plucked eggs off or cut the larvae infested leaf stems off. So even though they left their little eggs all over, I still got enough squash for a half summer worth of dinners.
So I am about to yank it all out and see if I have any luck with fall vegetables.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2014 at 8:45PM
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My 2nd planting of squash has almost all germinated now, going to cover it soon. A couple of zukes and both yellow squash from first planting are wilting - I think the SVB got them, even though I injected Bt and hilled up around the stems.

Picked my first Little Leaf pickling cuke of the year today - have about 5 more coming this weekend. Not the production is was last year, though no PM/DM this year I don't know what's going on - have lots of cuke beetles but cukes aren't wilting. Have 1 cantaloupe that's getting webbing, the watermelons are flowering but I have no hope of getting any before frost (likely will be within 60 days).

Still waiting for first ripe tomato (cherries don't count) - but I haven't seen any hornworms!

    Bookmark   August 8, 2014 at 9:32PM
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Another missing pest: bean beetles.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2014 at 2:08PM
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alisande(Zone 4b)

The SVBs are all at my place.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2014 at 2:12PM
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Eastern Nebraska (zone 5):
Cabbage butterfly/looper - saw plenty of the butterflies this year, my bT may be too old because it didn't seem to be working very well when I sprayed the plants, cabbage had the worst looper damage, kohlrabi the least.
SVB - infested the spaghetti squash, and even bored up into the fruit.
Squash bug - haven't seen any so far this year (knock on wood).
Cucumber beetles - I have seen more on my roses than I have on my cucumbers.
Bean beetles - they've been chewing the pole beans and the fall bush beans, a little pyrethrum dust keeping them under control.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 1:03AM
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It's been a good year for lack of bugs. Have had the usual suspects: squash bug, colorado potato bug, cucumber beetle and flea beetles but the numbers have been a lot less than previous years. My biggest problem this year is what seems like constant heavy rainfall and lower than normal temperatures.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 2:27PM
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