zuccini and borers

I had a problem with squash borers last year. I was wondering if anybody knows what the egg looks like when it gets laid on the plant stem. I found a few hard, very small brownish circular things that I thought might be the eggs. There was one on a stalk attached facing the ground, maybe four on every other plant. I hate these pests. They take a wonderful thriving plant and bring it to its knees. So far the only way I found to fight them was to find the holes they make on the bottom of the stalk and stick thin a wire in and try to skewer the little black faced larvas. If I can get the eggs off the plant before it is too late that would save a lot of back breaking work.
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Jack1000 wrote:

In my experience there will be a small grouping of off white eggs about the size of pin head on the underside of the squash stem. I've not found any squash that will totally withstand the borers but Zuchetta Rampicante Trombocino, a long zucchini with a bulb on the end, does better than most. Available from Pine Tree Seeds, with whom I have no connection other than as a customer. I am also growing Tatume, a Mexican squash that gets about as big as a baseball when it is eating size but will get much bigger and seedier if left to grow, it has some medium resistance to borers.
Another alternative is beneficial nematodes, the nematode preys on the larvae (grubs) of most beetles including those of the squash borer. Won't help much this year but they will deplete those in the ground. Also kills the grubs of the June beetle (called June bugs around here) and other grubs that feed on grass roots before turning into beetles. You can also inject Bt into the holes where the borers are or just slit the vine there and kill them, then heap dirt over the slit and the squash will root there again. HTH
Georg
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I was going to mention BT if nobody else did. While I was reading, and looking for the mention of BT, I was thinking. I'm wondering if anyone has ever used BT injections as a prevention? I wonder if a person could inject a strong BT solution into the stem when the plant is still young and tender. I wonder if the BT would stay vital, protected inside the vine and stop an attack before it really got started. I would try it myself but I don't get borers most years anyway. Someone who gets them every year should try it.
Steve
George Shirley wrote:

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A less time intensive method, should you miss the off-white to pinkish eggs but happen to notice the frass, is to take a sharp pocket knife and slit the stem lengthwise from the borer hole toward the growing tip. Chances are you'll run into the borer within a few inches and can easily get rid of it. I know some people who give a shot of Physan into the slot (not sure it's necessary or even helpful) and then mind a few loops of masking tape around the slit to hold things firmly together to prevent any opportunists from getting in (I guess that's the idea of the Physan too). On bush zucchini, it's a little harder since the stem is so thick and the leaves close together. Saccrifice a few leaves and the process is the same. Gary

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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com (Jack1000) wrote:

Inject the base of each plant with a solution of beneficial nematodes. That is supposed to work _wonders_ against squash borers...
No, I've not tried it yet, I just moved my squash growing inside the greenhouse this year. Too soon to tell if it's gonna work yet, but I have high hopes! I did put 2,000,000 beneficial nematodes into the soil last Sunday tho' in an attempt to get fleas and grubs under control tho', and hopefully fire ants as well.
They are cheap for the amount of work they do. :-)
K.
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Jack1000 said:

Fresh eggs are lighter pinkish tan and darken to a reddish brown. Patrolling once a day (can be stretched to once every 36 hours) and crushing all of the eggs is time consuming but effective. The eggs might be single or you might find many. If you miss and egg you might notice a small spot of 'chewed up' stem. Often you can scrape this away and bring the tiny larva with it, or use a fine wire to kill the larva.
The moth flies by day and is, in fact, most likely to be seen moving around in the very middle of the day. It imitates a wasp as it flies, but it is perfectly harmless to *you* -- every one you kill is that much less trouble with eggs and larvae.
Some images of the adult moth:
http://booksandnature.homestead.com/moth88.html
http://pestdata.ncsu.edu/cropprofiles/docs/KYpumpkin.html (scroll down)
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Pat in Plymouth MI ('someplace.net' is comcast)

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