[gardeners] Squash borers

Allen and Judy Merten (gardeners@globalgarden.com)
Wed, 21 Jul 1999 08:51:26 -0500

Hi All,
    I have found nothing to be effective against squash borers.
Fortunately  squash borers have not been a problem in the 4 yr. that I
have been gardening here. Down on the Texas Gulf Coast they were a
serious problem every year. The only way we successfully raised squash
was that we planted early, harvested as much as possible before the
borers appeared. After the borers do the dirty deed and enter the stem,
nothing will kill the borer. My dad used to take a sharp knife, split
the stem till he found the borer, kill it and tape the stem back
together. We replanted squash after the first plants had been damaged to
the point that they died.
    If there is an effective pesticide for them I am not familiar with
it. I don't think that BT would work. The caterpillars and horn worms
that it is so effective against must eat some of the vegetation in order
to "catch" the bacteria which paralyzes their stomachs, la they then
starve to death. The borer on the other hand does it's damage inside the
stem, avoiding the BT, etc. that is on the foliage
    Now, I may be completely out of date on all of this. What does your
county extension agent tell you about the borers in your area?
    Bastrop Co., where it is raining again in July!!
    SE Central Tx.