The most attractive characteristics of the squash is the plant that is not only heat tolerant, but also resistant to the squash vine borer
. Other squash and pumpkin that are not protected with pesticides succumb to the vine borer
First report of squash vine borer
, Melittia cucurbitae (Harris, 1828) (Lepidoptera, Sessidae) in Brazil and South America: distribution extension and geographic distribution map.
The canopy resulting when corn is companion-planted with squash or pumpkins--another indigenous practice--is believed to prevent damage by the adult squash vine borer
. And the prickly squash vines discourage raccoons from eating the corn.
Blame the squash vine borer
, a white worm with a brown head.
Squash enemy #1, the squash vine borer
, is the larva of a day flying moth which lays its eggs on the stem, just above the soil line.
Sex pheromone of the female squash vine borer
I try to forestall Squash Enemy #1: the squash vine borer
, by using several preventive methods.
When my plants are showing signs of decline (usually from squash vine borer
damage) and I've harvested all the summer squash I want, it's time to stage a crackdown cleanup by spreading a large piece of dear plastic on the ground, piling on the pest-ridden plants, and quickly gathering it into a bundle.
Since then, I plant two nasturtium seeds in each hill with my squash seeds to control the squash vine borer
. I use the climbing varieties.
If you have a terrible squash bug and/or vine borer
problem, the best solution is to grow squash beneath floating row covers, which are put over the plants soon after the seeds germinate or seedlings are set out.
Be mindful of common pests and diseases; in humid areas, powdery and downy mildew may appear, and squash bugs and vine borers
must be eradicated quickly to save the crop.
Butternut is not only one of the easiest types of winter squash to grow (it's immune to damage from vine borers
) but also the best keeper.