Squash Vine Borers

I noticed some pest activity today on cucumber plants.

The plants have been attacked by squash vine borers and when I looked closely, there were reddish-brown eggs here and there on the plants which means more damage will be done if the pest isn’t dealt with by the gardener.

If you are growing cucumbers, summer or winter squash, watermelon, pumpkins or muskmelons inspect your plants as these are all susceptible.

Most gardeners notice the damage to the stem caused by the borer. You will often see frass near the opening (near the base of the plant), sometimes oozing, and the stems have tan streaks. If you cut into the stem, the larva can usually be found. You can remove it and bury the wounded part of the vine in the soil – often a plant will recover.

Before you call it a victory, however, look the plants over carefully checking each leaf and the stem. Little reddish-brown dots can often be found and these are the eggs waiting to hatch and begin the cycle again.

Check out the photos below. If you have any questions, use the “Leave a comment” to get in touch with me – Natalie Walsh, Master Gardener

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