Squash Vine Borer Treament Prevention #1 : GF Video

Squash Vine Borer eating your squash, pumpkin, and zucchini plants every year? Squash plants dying? Here’s how to prevent squash vine borers from eating your squash plants. The borer is the caterpillar of the Melittia cucurbitae moth. The moth lays eggs at the base of young squash plants, both winter squash, summer squash, and pumpkins and the eggs hatch and the caterpillar burrows into the stem of the squash plant, eating the plant from the inside out.

How To Prevent & Protect Squash Plants with our how to video:

There are several ways to prevent the squash vine borer from destroying your plants, I’ve heard about wrapping the stem in foil or pantyhose to confuse the moth, or placing a square of aluminum foil around the base of the young plant is said to confuse the moth. I have also seen larvae enter the squash plant farther up the stem, so using foil or stockings may or may not work. There are also commercial sprays to deter the moth.

Borer Prevention

Our borer prevention method we learned from our neighbor Priscilla, who can be heard on these GardenFork Radio episodes on growing heirloom tomatoes. The one good thing about Squash Vine Borers is they have only one egg cycle, so once you get your plants past the egg laying time of the moth, you can relax about your squash plants drying from squash vine borers.

You can buy floating row fabric from Fedco Seeds Growing Supplies here.

Check out our gardening how-to video on how to prevent Squash Vine Borers from ruining your squash plants. Let us know how you keep the borers from killing your squash plants below:


Squash Vine Borer Treatment method #2 Extraction


Squash Vine Borer Treatment #3 using Bt


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  1. vernia R. smith says

    How do you stop the Squash Vine Borer? It seems to be affecting the melons, must melon, as well. In a nut shell, all of my squash has been killed, my cucumbers have been killed an d my canteloupe have been attacked with this rusk spots on the leave which are turning yellow and they have died also. WHAT IS GOING ON????????????????

  2. Hajnalka says

    How disappointing/what a teaser! I thought you might have actual new info about thwarting these pests. Listening to the heirloom tomato podcast was a waste of my time, since I don’t grow them (heirloom tomatoes, not vine borers.)

    I’ve had pretty good luck laying down newspaper mulch and covering with straw, as soon as the plants get about 8-12″ tall.

  3. April says

    I used this method after the bt method not working for me. It was my fault because I didn’t realize where the little bugger was and I injected too far up. The “surgery” method worked for me on 3 of my 5 vines. I think 2 were already too far gone. Thank you so much for the video. You saved my zucchini and pumpkin. :)

  4. John says

    Liked what I saw regarding preventing vine borers but have questions. Did I understand that the danger to vine borers is over once the plant has blossoms?
    Where can I purchase the wire hoops and material cover?
    I have heard that there is some spray that one can use on the vine bases up several inches maybe even a foot pretty frequently like weekly or such until the danger passes. Have you heard this and what may that chemical which is suppose to be organic be?

  5. Eric Gunnar Rochow says

    vine borers are a problem always, it doesn’t matter whether the flowers have blossomed. you can purchase the row cover and hoops online. as for sprays, i imagine you could use an insecticide on the stem, not sure if that works. thx, eric.

  6. Laura says

    In your video I noticed you use weed blocking material around your plants. Do the vines of pumpkins grow along the top of this or are you adding soil, compost, or mulch to the top? I was thinking of extending my pumpkin area and thought this might be an easier way than removing the lawn or smothering it as I do now.

  7. Eric says

    Hi Laura, the vines of the plants run on top of the plastic mesh, we don’t add soil on top of the mesh. thx! eric.


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