Squash Vine Borers - My Experience.


Active Member
Premium Member
Apr 25, 2022
Arid, Desert, or Dry
One of the first three plants I'm growing is summer squash and I typically check my garden every 1 to 2 days and noticed one of my plants was suddenly wilting even outside of sunny times, a sudden and strong presence of these weird brown specks on the leaves and vines of my squash, a new kind of moth flying around and what looks like mating on my plants.

I posted about them here thinking they were some kind of aphid. Thanks to @Aquametalmark correctly identifying them as Squash Vine Borers I was able to quickly work through my patch and do the following:
1. Identify leaves and vines that were yellowing, had a rot -y like look to them in different parts along the vine and started removing those from my garden, if the rot was particulrly bad or moosh-y I cut them open to check for larve and found something like this

2.Checked the vines/stems and undersides of my squash for any brown specs and removed them by scraping them off with a knife. Some of them came right off, others came off with a click/hard disconnect and youcould see little chunks of the plants where they were.

Here's some video I took (from a family+Friends group chat so excuse how casual it is) of what i found an saw.

I would say that from sunday to now AGGRESSIVELY searching for and killing the moths and removing all the brown, I'm going to call them eggs, has helped my plants recover. The previously sagging plant is starting to become firm again by groups of stems and I'm noticing that there are fewer and fewer brown specs. One thing I would say is that, in hind sight, I didn't put enough soil and compost in my bed when i as filling it, as a result the roots and base of the plants are exposed and I think this is particularly attractive to the borers and left my plants vulnerable. To fix this I plan on buy at least 1/2 cu yard of soil to top off that bed before amending and starting the next crop. So with 4 days of agressive monitoring and remediation i was able to get this infestation under control with manual labor and no chemicals.

huge ups and thanks to everyone on the forum commenting and sharing their knowledge with me. it's exciting to learn and become a better gardening and it's also surreal to learn about new ways to interact with nature. It's wild how much more tangible it becomes when you garden and are working processes to create a healthy environment for plants.

<3 from the US.
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Gardening can be incredibly addictive - luckily it's a healthy obsession (in my unprofessional opinion). I'm growing plants that I can benefit from, and also some that are just for fun. Don't udnerestimate mental health benefits :D
our of curiosity, are you growing any medicinal / beneficial aloe and if so what strain are you growing? I've been wanting to start some to bottle and learn to use.
I am growing medicinal plants. Some examples are Aloe Vera, Lemon Balm and Turmeric. I've also just started garlic.
You would be surprised what plants can have medicinal benefits!

My Aloe Vera turned out to be very sassy; it doesn't like full sun at all. When it turns red (sunburnt) I know I have to move it to shade or it dies. Other than that I actually neglect is and often forget to water it. I'm growing it in a terracotta pot with plain old sand that I dug from a little river nearby. It's really hardy other than not liking full sun.
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