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mikescleveland July 16, 2017 03:32 PM

Is this squash vine borer?
I have this white area at the base of a pumpkin vine. It hasn't open up and revealed the sawdust stuff. I don't want to cut into it if there's no borer. Nobody so far is able to tell me if that's what I'm dealing with.

PaulF July 16, 2017 04:40 PM

2 Attachment(s)
Looks like it may be. Here are some other photos:

Worth1 July 16, 2017 06:26 PM

Better to split the vine and see than to let the plant croak as it surely will if you dont and it is.
The surgery wont hurt anything.

Father'sDaughter July 16, 2017 06:39 PM


Originally Posted by Worth1 (Post 655051)
Better to split the vine and see than to let the plant croak as it surely will if you dont and it is.
The surgery wont hurt anything.

I agree. I've come close to completely severing a zucchini stalk hunting down a SVB, and the plant survived and kept producing right up until frost.

I just killed my first SVB moth this morning. It was sitting on a cucumber leaf. It's time to start looking for frass!

b54red July 16, 2017 09:03 PM

Mike I don't see any sign of SVB but that doesn't mean they haven't started. It will only become obvious when you see frass coming out or a rotted looking stem. The best way to prevent them is to lightly dust the base of the stem and up a few inches with Sevin dust. As long as it is on them you will not get SVB. I pulled my squash a week ago and the vines were at least 10 ft long with no SVB. I have been treating mine with the Sevin dust on the lower stems for years with no SVB as long as I replenish it after a heavy rain or watering. One precaution is that you don't want to get Sevin on or in the blooms as it is harmful to bees which love the blooms so make sure to limit it to the lower stems only.

I used to plant two full beds of squash in order to get enough to eat because of my loses from SVB were so bad every year. Now I only plant 3 to 5 plants and they are way too many for just my wife and me. We usually are quite tired of squash by mid June when we are eating it several times a week. I used to never have to worry about squash plants getting too big because the SVB took care of them fairly young; but now my plants get so large and unmanageable I can't walk between the beds by early June and by July they are taking over.


jmsieglaff July 16, 2017 09:29 PM

Either way, I see what might be a SVB egg on the branch left and kinda below the main stem. It is the branch all by itself right on the straw. The small roundish brown dot. I check my squash/pumpkins each night and remove any eggs by squishing them between my fingers/fingernails/stem.

MissS July 16, 2017 09:54 PM

Another suggestion is to bury the vines as the plant grows. It will root at each node and will help from any borer destroying your plant so that your kids can each have some fun with them. Also with the extra soil covering the vines, the borers will not be able to get in. An added bonus is that sometime more roots means larger fruit.

gorbelly July 16, 2017 10:10 PM

Agree with Worth and FD. That swelling and the crack that's starting--that's could be from a SVB. I would split the stem further where it's already starting to split and hunt down the SVB. If you don't find one, as long as you've kept your cut parallel to the fibers on the stalk (vertical), you should be able to mound dirt and/or compost over the cut part and the plant will be OK. If you wait until a SVB causes the stem to burst, it's too late to save the plant.

mikescleveland July 18, 2017 11:16 PM

So I sliced in and found no work and no frass. So I'm still stumped about the discoloration at the base of the stem. I added a pic of the inside of the stem.

MissS July 18, 2017 11:24 PM

The stems do get old and woody as they age. Yours just seems to have swelled in the process. I would still advise you to cover all of the stems of the vine as it grows to prevent this nasty from taking over your plant.

Worth1 July 19, 2017 06:21 AM

You sliced the wrong way you are supposed to slice with the grain not across it.
what ever you cut off is now going to die.
The part you want to slice with the grain is the main stem.


mikescleveland July 19, 2017 08:28 AM

Worth I don't know what you're talking about. I sliced it vertically just like every YouTube on the subject demonstrates. If I sliced the other way it would sever the whole vine.

Worth1 July 19, 2017 08:58 AM

I dont know what I'm looking at then.

jmsieglaff July 19, 2017 10:19 AM

jillian July 19, 2017 10:26 AM


Originally Posted by jmsieglaff (Post 655591)

True that! I'm not growing any zucchini squash next year. Too much trouble keeping the SVB away and takes up too much space besides. Just not worth the effort to me.

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