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SVB Moth routine

Posted by rich_manure z6 SEMA (richdelmo@aol.com) on
Thu, Jul 4, 13 at 12:05

I finally saw the moth flying around my squash today around 11:00 a.m. I came inches of capturing or slamming her with my hand but as usual she flew off. I sat out for at least 1/2 hour following that episode but the moth did not return. My question is does any one know their habit or routine. Did I scare it off for a while or does she just go else where as a normal course of routine, do they lay their eggs in any particular time of day, if I saw one are there many more????


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: SVB Moth routine

I have seen it the first time this season on July 1st. Around noon.
Could never figure out their behavioral pattern.
Usually they show up in mid June and gone by 4th of July.
Not sure about this year.
They like when it is hot and sunny.
I check for eggs daily since Mid June, didn't find any so far.


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RE: SVB Moth routine

She goes where there are squash plants. If your neighbor is close and has some she may drift off there and likely come back to yours as well.

She probably already laid eggs on yours before you ever saw her anyway and if you saw one there are likely 12 or 20 others around as well..

In other words trying to trap or run off the moth isn't the goal. Seeing one only means you need to be closely inspecting the plants if you haven't kept them covered. Egg hunt/removal is the recommended activity rather than worrying about the moth.

Dave


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RE: SVB Moth routine

They're dodgey creatures. I've never managed to get one.


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I've tried several times to get them, they seem to be very skittish. I seem to stand a better chance at catching a fly in my hand than successfully even swatting the SVB with a towel or whatever I have handy.

I've had them lay eggs more than once in a day. I clean their eggs off daily, and sometimes when I do it in the morning, by the evening there's a completely new set of them. They mostly lay them at the base of the plant, I'm finding large clusters of them there (up to 10). But it scatters them all over the plant, undersides of the leaves, on the flowers, the steams of the leaves, everywhere. I haven't really been able to discern any useful 'habit' from them. They seem to come randomly.


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RE: SVB Moth routine

Agree... focus on finding the eggs and removing them. The good thing is that you have about 7 days until they hatch to remove them. But she might have laid some eggs on them already. Look at the base if vines, and if your vine is laying down in the ground, look on the underside of the vine too. They like to try and hide them some time. They are small reddish-brown disc shaped. They are laid singly.

As far as killing the moths, I usually see them late morning, or evening. I have a badminton racket which I have used to kill them and also cabbage moths too. I usually whack them to stun them, and then finish the job.

This post was edited by ccabal on Thu, Jul 4, 13 at 14:35


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RE: SVB Moth routine

  • Posted by RPost78 8a Central Texas (My Page) on
    Thu, Jul 4, 13 at 15:26

Your day sounds exactly like my day yesterday! I have been fighting with the dreaded SVB moth for a few weeks now and yesterday around 11 a.m. I saw her flying around my zucchini. I went out and got a close look at her. She was laying eggs all over my plants. I watched her in the act! I then got a board laying nearby and hit her with it. She jumped up mumbled some profanities at me and took off. She didn't come back yesterday and from the lack of eggs this morning she hasn't come back today either.

After that was over, I removed all of her eggs and set in on finding grubs/larva. I pulled 4 grubs out of my plant. I thought I had been pretty vigilant until finding those that had actually made into my plant. I also found three cocoon shells (forget the term) that show there are some emerging into moths.

My advice is to keep picking eggs off and hopefully put a dent in the life cycle.

Are you familiar with the eggs? They are little brown seed-like eggs that are mostly on the stems, but can be found on the leaves and flowers as well. I'll attach a picture. What I have begun to do is pull the leaves and stems off the plant if they look wilted or brown. I have found a high percentage of grub activity in leaves/stems that are looking that way. If the grub makes it to the main plant you can cut a slit into it and remove the grub, or just take a wire or something sharp and push it into the hole to kill the grub.

How do you post more than one picture at a time? I made a slide show of some pictures I took.


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Here is the next slide!


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Here's the last slide!


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Wow, great job there on the pictures and presentation.


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That is very helpful! I finally uncovered mine today. Have been trying to hand pollinate, but 5:30 keeps getting earlier and earlier, and I am tired.... Hopefully, I can find eggs at 6:30.


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RE: SVB Moth routine

Thanks everyone and great pics RP. Every year I check for eggs but have yet to actually see any, but I DO get the borer. This year I put tinfoil around the base of the plants and covered them all with tule. Unfortunately the tule was too narrow and I had to remove most of it yesterday, naturally I see the moth a day later. I will just keep checking for eggs, and even if i don't see any I normally rub all around the base of the plant hoping if there are any I will remove or squish them. Thanks again.


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RE: SVB Moth routine

Here is a pic of the SVB grub I got the other day:

I've been looking for eggs and put down diatomaceous earth down, but I must have missed this one. I saw the frass and sliced the stem open and skewered him and left him for the birds.

I am growing romaesco zucchini this year. I do think that they are a bit more resistant. The older stems are much thicker and harder than regular zucchini plants. The stem that the grub was able to penetrate was a young offshoot, not the main stem. I did see some frass on the main stem, but it looks like the grub gave up, there was nothing in there.

I am also experimenting with wrapping the stems with saran wrap. A friend of mine swears by this. So I'm all set..except..it's been raining non-stop for a week and will this whole weekend. I've harvested a few squash, but the last two female flowers shriveled up before the flowers even opened. I hope the sun comes out soon.


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RE: SVB Moth routine

I am not sure that wrapping the main stem would help. Larvae could get into a main stem by chewing its way through from leaf stems and secondary stems. The protection has to be for the whole plant either by physical barreier (like tulle/row cover or by insecticide (contact/chewing). I would think that leaves could be left unprotected with insecticides but stems have to be covered all over. My understanding that's the only way to destroy a brand new larvae.


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BTW should have asked on prior post, once the eggs are layed how long before they hatch and start getting inside of the plant?


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I've heard you have about seven days from egg-laying to birth and stem invasion.


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I caught 1 SVB in the act last week, have not seen any single eggs at base of plants but tonight did find clusters or hard (not squishable) golden-brown tiny eggs near veins on undersides of leaves. Had to tear some of the leaves to get them off since couldn't squish or scrape them (at least not with newspaper - I did have some luck with fingernail but yucky getting all those eggs under my nails).

Are these squash bug eggs? I do have these dull gray-brown beetles (size/shaped like JB) everywhere now, they were on my edamame past year, I didn't think they'd go after squash family. Maybe innocent bystander?


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ajsmama - those sound like squash bug eggs, not SVB.

Here is a link that might be useful: squash bug images


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RE: SVB Moth routine

Thanks - what I saw last week was a SVB, what I found today were squash bug eggs, but I have no idea what the beetles are. Never seen eggs so hard to scrape off.

This has been the buggiest year!


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Beetles are pea weevil, I think. I have them too.


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SVB-0 Human-2

I got two adult moths today and scraped off a dozen eggs, but no larvae has made it into my plants today!!!

Now I just need some female flowers so I start getting some zucchini. Do the female flowers of zucchini look similar to the female flower of a cucumber? I have a bunch of those and can see the little cucumbers, but no such luck with zucchini yet.


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The time it takes for the eggs to hatch is 7 to 10 days. After several weeks of eating they drop from plant into the soil where they make a cocoon and spend the winter growing into a moth. They emerge in the summer months of June and July, typically. Some areas have 2 generations and multiple species of the moth.
At least that's what I concluded! :-)


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I found out the beetles I've been seeing all over are Oriental beetles, the adults supposedly don't eat anything but grubs eat grass roots like JB. I don't know, I think the adults eat leaves (JB adults like blueberry leaves), I've been getting my peppers chewed up by something and the edmamame last year (moved it this year and so far no holes). Will have to check the strawberry bed when I renovate it (after it cools down a bit).

$17 for 1 trap, I think I'm going to have to figure out a different way to get rid of these. Supposedly have predatory wasps (thought they were flying ants this spring) that lay their eggs in grubs.

Oh, and I did catch 2 squash bugs in the act this morning. Think I interrupted them before the female could lay any eggs. They were at the base of 1 of the zukes.

1 yellow squash is looking a little wilted but that could just be the heat - I'll have to keep an eye on it (watered today).

Here is a link that might be useful: Oriental beetle


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I was out hunting cucumber beetles, armed with a shot glass of sevin and a bamboo skewer (I don't want to spray the stuff but haven't found anything else effective yet), and spotted the svb moth. I couldn't catch her, but I did manage to "paint" her with the sevin a bit. How much insecticide do you think it takes?

I didn't spot any eggs, but I said that last year and still lost the spaghetti and the acorn squash to those horror-movie grade bugs. :-(


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OH NO!!! what i thought was a baby lightning bug and an adult lightning bug could have been a svb moth!!?? i didn't have my phone or camera handy... i'll check again tomorrow...


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Found some eggs today. Joy. 6 or 7 on two different plants.

I scraped them off, but they don't seem squishable. Anyone have a good method for destroying the eggs, or is removal enough?


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CaraRose, sometimes I can smash them between my thumbnails but often I end up dropping them and then can't find them, which I decided was worse. Now I go out between 7 and 8 PM with a hand spray bottle filled with insecticidal soap and spot spray them. It seems to harden and smother the eggs. I figured this out by scraping some onto a white paper plate and looking at them with a magnifying glass before and after I doused them with the soap. They go from slightly translucent rust red to hard dark red.


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I lost all my patty pans, half my zucchini, a few of my butternuts and all my pumpkins to SVB last year. This year I was so incredibly late in getting these squash planted that I thought I might get through the season unscathed. Then yesterday, with no warning whatsoever, one of my pumpkins dropped dead. It was only a foot tall. No frass, no evidence of SVB anywhere. Could this actually be an SVB death, this early in the season? With no evidence? What else could it be?


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Thanks for all the information on these little monsters! This is my first year in a long time trying to grow a garden, and first time ever for zucchini and yellow squash, and they are doing great! About a week ago I saw this moth on my zucchini, but not knowing what it was, I didn't kill it. I went inside and did some research and found out what it was and its purpose in life. Man, was I mad I didn't kill it! Ever since then I've been picking off eggs (probably at least a dozen I've found) and finally killed the little beast this morning! I know, it may or not be the same one, but I at least felt like I had somewhat made up for my idiot mistake of leaving it to continue its cycle of death the first time! This afternoon, I saw some of the frass around the base and a few stems looking a bit wilted where they connected to the main plant, so I pulled them off and found 3 of the little larvae munching away. They didn't seem to have burrowed too far into the main stem, so I'm hopeful that they didn't do too much damage yet. I mounded soil up around the stalk to cover the area where the stalks were removed, and I'll continue to keep an eye out for more. Do you think there is hope for the plant at this point?


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Yes, you may want to spray or inject some liquid BT or spinosad into the hole where you removed the stalks, just incase there are more in there.


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After last year's pumpkin debacle here, have been inspecting my plants twice a day. Planted late this year hoping to avoid them. So far so good.


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Thanks, Buford. I'm sure this is a dumb question, but what is BT and where do you get it, and what would I use to inject it into the plant?


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BT is (Bacillus thuringiensis). It's used to kill caterpillars. It's a bacteria, not a chemical, so it's approved for organic.

I use a syringe that I had to give my cats liquid medicine once. You don't really need a needle, just something to squirt the liquid into the hole. Sometimes I use the spinosid spray I have and just spray it into the hole. I've been unable to find BT in the store, but I just say this link on Amazon.

Safer


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Good new bad news:
good- went out to the garden yesterday and spotted a SVB moth on a cucumber leaf not the stem, would have loved to seen the look in my eyes, but I was able to sneak up on her and SMACK got the little bit*@!h.
Bad - have seen the moth three days in a row and with 7 squash plants I would think there should be plenty of eggs, but either they are not there or I am not able to see them. I still rub and scratch the plant base but have no confidence I getting any. Are they really that difficult to spot?


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Yes, those eggs were impossible for me to spot in spite of the fact I very carefully inspected my plants twice each day. Morning and evening. I ended up with borers and never saw the eggs and only saw one moth once for a very brief period of time.


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rich, if I were you, I'd spray the stems and ground with spinosad. And maybe put down some diatomaceous earth. That should take care of any eggs and grubs that survive. And then be on the lookout for frass.


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buford, I have the DE for earwigs and ants your talking the same stuff I assume. Never heard of using it for this problem, does it kill the grubs coming out of the hatching eggs or what does it do?


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Sorry for a repeated post, but anyone trying to remove squash bug eggs (ajsmama) should know of the mythical powers of duct tape:


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emmer would you mind explaining the duct tape process, I'm guessing your just wrapping it around your hand and pulling the eggs off.


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Found more eggs this morning so when it stops raining I'd like to go out and try this - I assume the same thing, just press sticky side of tape to eggs and gently peel it off the leaf? Or do you have to make it a little less sticky first (by putting it on and peeling off your shirt or something) so you don't damage the leaf? Though anything's better than ripping the leaf off or scraping the eggs with my fingernail!


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Killed a moth just now, but couldn't spot any eggs.

I have the supplies, should I go ahead and prophylactically inject BT? At what intervals along the squash?

This year seems so much worse for pests than last year so far :-( I just really want to have some acorn and spaghetti squash, and to let the zukes go for a little longer since it was such a slow start this year.


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emmers -- duct tape for SB eggs! Love it!
Will definitely try this.


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Hi Rich, yes the DE is supposed to kill the grubs as they emerge and try to get to the stems. Obviously you have to dust the soil and stems.


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I managed to kill one of the moths when it landed on a squash leaf. I do spray with Neem now to try and kill any eggs but I must not have started spraying early enough as Borers go into some of my zucchini and squash plants. First I knew I had them was when one morning I go out to see wilted leaves. That was July 7th. Look carefully at the stems and see the frass which is a sure sign of borer larvae. That same day I injected all my zucchini and squash plants with Spinosad. Seems to have killed them as no new frass.


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Been getting the squash bug eggs off by ripping leaves (not good but packing tape didn't do anything - have to as DH where duct tape is - maybe DS is taking it to camp?). Found 2 wilted leaves with possible frass at the bases so clipped those off, didn't see grubs inside so hope they didn't make it to stem of plants. I never did see any SVB eggs but since they're not in clusters and I was looking at stem not bases of leaves where they come out of stem I missed these.

Too soon to tell if it got pollinated but I think my first zuke is growing (blossom just fell off and squash is still green not yellow and rotting!).


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Yup, just make a 'sticky mitten' and apply some pressure to the eggs -sometimes I'd use my other hand on top of the leaf to press the eggs onto the duct tape. No need to reduce stickiness, I think the hairs on the leaf prevent the duct tape from sticking to it.

~emmers


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Thanks. Found a dead SVB moth on top of a squash leaf this AM. Strange since I don't spray. Hope she kicked the bucket before laying eggs though!


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Last night and this morning I killed four SVB larvae in my zucchini and patty pans by slicing open the stem - first time I've done that. These plants were showing just a little frass. They were a little difficult to spread apart because the SVBs were very small and had not done much damage. I couldn't really even see the buggers very well, but I managed to probe around with the razor blade until I brought out enough of their body parts that I was covinced they were dead. Then I washed out the opening, covered it with dirt, and watered it well. I'll report back on the results.


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That sounds like you did the right thing.


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I just now pulled that second of my dead looking squash plants. I cut open the stem and no live borers but you could see all the borer damage. My theory is that the Spinosad injections did in the borer but that it was simply too late with too much damage for the plant to recover.

Found signs of frass in two of my other plants. Just a very little. I had injected them all but I went and injected those two again.

Meanwhile the plants are pumping out the fruit. Hurray!


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Interesting about the squash and the SVB. I cut a leaf way back at the stem that looked damaged. Found a totally disintegrated rotting borer in there. Yeck. But dead is good. Then on another damaged leaf stem way back by the main stem I again found a borer. Live and trying to get into the main stem. Not very big. Pulled it out and killed it. Then flushed out the area with a spinosad injection.


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Found frass this AM. Got the Bt on Tues, should have just started using it then. So I just injected all my plants (except the tranplants that are still small), buried the damaged sections and hope I don't lose (many) more before the Bt does its thing. I figured I'd do worse damage hunting for the borers since the plants still looked healthy. Picked a few squash before injecting but I'm hoping the plants don't die before I get more since I have picked 4 yellow and zukes so far off (starting with) 19 plants (now down to 17, and 2 yellow transplants, 2 zukes struggling).


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What I have learned is that if you look very, very carefully you can sometimes see the entrance hole the borer makes in one of the leaf stems. Then it travels down inside to the main stem. I just found one like that just now. Saw the hole, cut the leaf stem and sure enough, there was a live and very small borer. It was was up in the stem. It is dead now!


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the eggs really aren't that hard to see, in fact their dark brown color is a good contrast to the plant color. The reason some of you might not be finding them might be that you aren't looking in certain places. they like to put their eggs sometimes in very tricky places. often they lay them on the underside of vines that are laying on the ground. so I often pick up the vines and look under them. also I use a small mirror to help me see all angles of the plant. it's easy to miss a few of you don't look all around the plant.


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I have never been able to find any eggs and I look really carefully.


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I've been turning the leaves over looking for SB eggs but don't like to move the plant enough to move the stem since they are so shallow-rooted.


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So far I have performed six surgeries, and after two or three days five of the plants look fine, and I even think the seventh one will survive. I did three more surgeries last night.


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I think I finially might have found an egg and destroyed it.

Found this place selling SVB moth traps. I never realised there was such a thing. They claim these are very effective. Scroll down the page, they sell lots of organic desease controls also. If anyone has ever tried the traps, I am sure we would all like to know how well it all worked.

Here is a link that might be useful: Organic Desease Controls


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You cannot win against the SVB.

If there are winners, they are amongst the 1% of squash growers. A very rare human indeed. Take his tips.

I let the plant produce as much as possible until I lose the battle each year.
By that time, we are sick of squash anyway.

I think they are moving in right now. No matter how many times per day I hand pick, they take me over. It's not worth fighting them after years if trying.

12 Zuchinni so far. I can't attempt other types of squash here or melon. Vines get wiped out no matter what.

I like the idea of row covers, I didn't know that prevents the SVB. I never read that on here. Maybe next year ill try that but the squash bugs prolly crawl underneath.....


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You can't totally win, but you can still get some victories. Despite some damage, I've been able to get some decent harvests. I attribute it to having had started real early, and having dug in many of my vines, so that once the SVB started, they plants were well established. My Hubbard squash plants now are enormous, and they have rooted all over the place. I bet many of the vines are no longer attached to the original base, but with their secondary roots, they keep going.
Check out my blog.
http://cabalgarlandtxgarden.blogspot.com/2013/07/july-21st-update.html

Here is a link that might be useful: Cabal Garden Blog


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It would be nice if somone did a youtube video on how to inject BT or spinosad. I have found BT concentrate on ebay. Does it have to be mixed first or used full strength? I think I also found the spinosad in a ready to use spray bottle.

Found a few eggs on the base of my pumpkin plants. IMO they are hard to see. Needed my cheaters and a magnifying glass. Pumpkin stems are dark green and the tiny brown eggs don't contrast that well. I might have missed a couple though, because it looks like there are two tiny bore holes with a little frass on one of the plants. I tried to investigate with the tip of a sharp knife but didn't find anything inside. So I sprayed with sevin, and will continue to spray in the hopes of keeping and additional eggs from hatching.


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Sevin does nothing to them. Only increases carcinogens in your food. Why put chemicals on your home garden? You can buy tons of that kind of vegetables at your stores.


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Spray the plants and eggs with Neem. The Neem kills the eggs. But you need to do this weekly and cover all of the plant, under the leaves and stems also. Of course no matter how much I try, I must miss some because I have borer damage.


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I just don't understand this SVB thing. We NEVER lost squash to these monsters when I was younger. This year every one of my 20 summer squash have them. I am hopeful that half survive, but who really knows? What a freaking drag this is.


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Maybe the area you lived in your younger days just didn't have them. Not everyone has them.


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Yeah, will have to pick up some Neem. I totally forgot about covering the plant, and I was planning on doing that. CRS disease strikes again. The bolt of tulle came out today!!


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good luck with the neem. beware of clarified hydrophobic extract of neem, which has some important stuff removed from it. you want the pure cold pressed neem oil. but that stuff is a bit expensive, and with my huge vines, spraying them became impractical... at least the summer squash are mostly bush type, and are easier to thoroughly cover.


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I use Monterey Brand Neem Oil.

http://www.arbico-organics.com/product/Neem-Oil-insecticide-miticide/1555614


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I've tried the Neem thing but never worked for me hope it works for others.

Anyway I thought I had the borers in two of my six plants (four zuc two yellow) as I saw what looked like sawdust material on the plant at ground level. I cut the stems on both of them with a razor blade but found none, covered them up with compost and so far so good. Getting ample fruit up to now hoping it continues.


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I think I lost a small zuke transplant I didn't "inoculate" last week b/c it was so small. Lots of frass and the borer ate out the entire crown. I dug around in the stem and 1 leaf that was brown at the base but never found the borer. Covered it up with soil but since the crown was gone I don't think it's going to do anything. Others that had some borer damage last week are looking good now after Bt and burying the damaged parts.


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Just finished performing three more surgeries, all of which were on patients upon which I had already operated. Killed four more worms. Next year it's BT treatments from the start.


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Raining slightly this morning but I pulled up three of my squash. Two Buckingham yellow zucchini plants which just don't look thrifty at this point. Not my favorites anyway, might not be returned next year. And one of the Golden Egg yellow squash. I had not intended to pull that Golden Egg but had no choice. The stem completely broke and you could see why what with the SVB eaten center stem.

I do have some yellow squash seedlings of one called Safron. So I will plant those out in the pots and reuse them. Those were the two types of yellow squash seeds I bought this spring from Burpee, Safron and Golden Egg. I just love the Golden Egg so want to try out the Safron also.


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RE: SVB Moth routine

  • Posted by danzeb 7a long island (My Page) on
    Fri, Aug 9, 13 at 15:20

Cut open the stems of four squash plants over two weeks ago and removed the borers. I than sprayed the cut area with hydrogen peroxide (as an experiment). Two borers that I missed didn't like the hydrogen peroxide and backed out of there holes. Since then the plants are still alive and I've picked new zucchini and yellow squash from those plants. Now they are being attacked with powdery mildew that I have to deal with. I curious how long I can keep them producing.

Edit: It's now Sept 15 and I'm still getting zucchini. To my surprise I found another SVB the first week of Sept.

This post was edited by danzeb on Sun, Sep 15, 13 at 11:40


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RE: SVB Moth routine

Oh my. That stem looks really bad to me. I am surprised that the plant is still pumping out the zucchini. I have never thought of cleaning the wounds from the borers with hydrogen peroxide. You may have hit upon something new that works in the battle with SVB.

The mildew on my plants is really bad and I spray with Neem. But the squash plant leaves still look really ratty.


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danzeb --- one of the first things to do when your squash start to lean over a bit is to mound dirt under them and keep it wet to get them rooting along the stem. I would start doing that now if you haven't already. It will keep them producing over a long period of time. Last year I had a patty pan that was over 8 feet long.


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Whoa, that is one nasty stem. I only grew one pumpkin vine this year and might have dodged the bullet by planting late. Did pick a few eggs about a month ago, but the coast seems to be clear now.


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I hope the coast is clear now. While I did pull 1 small transplant (moved from original hill seeded in May), and pulled another plan early on that probably would have recovered, I still have 11 out of 13 original plants - the one that the crown had been eaten out of (and I buried) has new leaves coming up in the middle!

Now if I can hold the PM off - we got almost 5" of rain yesterday, that can't help. Haven't picked since Wed, I've got a few HUGE squash and cukes now! I just went out to check the rain gauge, when it dries off a it I'll have to pick (and tie up some tomato stems that got bent, firm soil around pepper plants that are leaning, etc.).


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Three days ago I saw a little frass on one of my plants. I sliced it open and found four SVBs inside.


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RE: SVB Moth routine

Wow, this late in the season? Were they huge? My zukes aren't looking too good - not PM, I don't know maybe the SB just damaged them too much (they've been chewing on the fruit and stems and petioles). Only 1 has new flowers. I do have 2 coming up from my 3rd planting (2nd was old seed and none germinated). Don't know if I have enough time before frost to get anything out of them though. Yellow Prolific Straightneck still going strong - and I planted 3 more looks like we won't need!


 o
RE: SVB Moth routine

They were pretty big, but not any bigger than some that I killed a month ago.


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