For the first time, I have been introduced to the world of coming out to find a plant dead that was fine that morning.
I found a bunch of what Mom calls stink bugs on all the vines and have been killing them by hand. Every plant that died with no apparent cause, I ahve cut open the stem all the way to the top where it branched and no borer. But at the base it was kind of white orange rotty looking. We have been in a drought until a couple days ago, and no overwatering.
So I have been reading here, and my new insect id book, and I need to know if you can't see the borere, could it still be one? I killed what I am 95% sure was a mating pair at the base of my still alove squash, so it makes me think that is it. But I can't find them! I have two delicata squash left, and a few really nice pumpkins. I want to save them. I sprayed stems with insecticidal soap tonight just in case there are new egss there.
How do I figure out for sure what it is? And at this point, would spraying soap every day on the stem kill any egss that may hatch?
I am also scraping off small piles of browniish eggs in small groups form the underside of the leaves. Does anyone know what these are? ANd do they all have to be smashed or can they be tossed. Like aphids, that can't get back on if they are knocked off.
I am so disgusted right now with trying to keep everything alive. It is so disheartening. I start everything from seed, and tend and tend faithfully twice a day, at least, and every few days, dead plant. Big plants, my pumpkin was huge with runners all over. And i only had one, as I was growing it in the vege garden, and not in the corn patch.
If your mom thinks they are "stink bugs" they are probably squash bugs, which also stink, but not vine borers. My book here says that they have yellow to brown ellipse shaped eggs on the underside of leaves. Too many of them feeding cause the leaves and shoots to blacken and die back. Winter squash more severely affected. Could that be the problem? I bet they could also transmit diseases as well to your plants.
The bugs your mom calls stink bugs are squash bugs and the brown eggs on the under side of the leaves are their eggs. The yellow brown rot on the stem and base of the plants are squash vine borers. They are a moth but look like a black and red wasp. They fly during the day unlike other moths. I keep a fly swatter on my fence just for them. If you look on your plants stems you will see little red eggs. These are the vine borer eggs and can be picked off. It sounds like you have already been attacked however. If you cut open the base of the plants you will find a grub like creature inside that is the borer larva. After He/She is done eating it will crawl into the soil and wait until next year to leave the soil as an adult...... So you have 2 options at this point that I know of. 1) Pull Squash plants and burn or feed to chickens. 2) cut off the leaves of some of the stems that are in good shape and put them into the soil. This will allow the plant to grow roots on the good stem in order to take up nutrients and water. Since the way the bores kills the plant is by destroying the base of the plant. The problem with 2 is next year borers will be living in your garden soil.
I am trying to kill adults (when I see them), and pick off eggs. They still got me this year. Next year I am going to try screen over the plants.
So at this point I think we should just form a support group. If anyone has anything that they know works please share.
One of my cucumber vines got hit with a vine borer and died. I couldn't find the thing either when I cut it open. It probably already went into the soil. Those things are jerks. At least the squash bugs aren't as bad. I don't have enough of them for them to be any worse than annoying status. Maybe once their eggs hatch I'll change my mind, but I keep squishing the eggs as I find them.
I'm glad I have the cucumber vines to distract from the squash plants. I don't really even like cucumber very much . They are a magnet for the cucumber beetles too.
my squash and cucs are getting hit hard this yr. ive been killing squash bugs by hand but plant still dies. the vine just under soil line looks as described below.
talking to a lady today she said the way you control the borers is cut a metal can. cut bottom outa it. place it half buried in soil. half out. put plant inside can let it grow. the borer lives an inch below soil wont go any deaper and not come above soil to feed. the can keeps him off plant. she showed me plants that she did this too and those she didnt use a can on. the ones with can, lives and thrives. ones w/o cans dying.
i dont know how this does with the mentioned wasps. this is all new news to me. but i guess this method is effective for last yrs invasion. regardless im trying it next yr. im thinking i'll use the black corrogated pipe instead of metal cans.