20 August 2008

Nasty Little Bastards


Squash vine borers demolished our very tasty Striata d'Italia summer squash this year. We knew it was doomed a few weeks ago, but I was harboring false hopes of recovery. After a week of increasingly wilted leaves and droopy flowers, we yanked it.


The stem was completely eaten and rotted out and inside it held—surprise!—a couple of big, fat vine borers. These squirmy things eat the plant from the inside out and steal water and nutrients that would otherwise keep the leaves perky and allow new fruit to set. Our extremely prolific Lemon squash is naturally bug-resistant, so it's still doing fine. The cucumbers, melons, and winter squash are also hanging in there, so they are still chugging along in the garden. The vine borers, meanwhile, gave us a nice occasion to have a campfire.

12 comments:

el said...

God, I hate those bastids too. It's one of the reasons I don't grow much squash: get my hopes up for some huge haul of winter squash, but nooo. Borers.

Have you allowed your plants to run along the ground a bit? If they can get access to more dirt, sometimes they throw down more roots along the vines. This doesn't really stop the borers but it at least slows down the process of eventual plant death, and sometimes you can actually get a decent harvest. At least, that's my hope for my big momma Hubbard squashes whose vines are beginning to bite it.

mrsb said...

Yuck!

miriam said...

death to the buggers----some kind of something has gotten to one of my cuke vines---found it limp this morning.

Farmgirl_dk: said...

Damn them all to HELL! Good work, you guys! :-)

Michelle Ellis said...

I HATE them! We have a special name for them in our house....I'll spare your virginal ears(:

Phelan said...

ugh. We have those things as well. Sorry they got so bad.

Bobbi said...

Nasty little buggers indeed!

Melinda said...

Thanks for sharing the photos - I always wondered what they looked like. Bastards. I hope you did you do a little squash borer evil dance around the campfire?

Erica said...

Those bastards got my plants too......

Vegmonkey said...

Oh my god, i have heard of these before, but i don't think we have these in the uk!? I bloody hope not, as i'm not sure i could cope with another pest. How can you prevent them?

Teresa said...

Well we have them over here in Indiana too guys, little greedy gusses devoured my plants at the soil level and only left one alive out of about 10-rrrrrrrrrrrr! Oh well, hopefully the farmers market fared better than us.

Mama said...

I HATE those disgusting little maggot-y borers! UGH! As a first time gardener, I was so defeated by them....and my family eats tons of squash and zucchinni....from the farmer's market:( How do we kill them?