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Garden Pest Control

Q.Efficient, effective control for squash vine borer

Zone 02657 | DARKSEA added on July 12, 2016 | Answered

I have looked over many sites dealing with controls for squash vine borer. With a heavy infestation of these moths, I have fought to protect squash using nearly all the suggested methods. Some work (complete netting of the plants) but are very labor intensive. Finally, I watched the moths in the garden for many hours (letting them do their nasty work without disturbing them) and realized that they are extremely sensitive and careful when laying (THIS IS THE KEY TO CONTROL!).

I then developed a much Less labor intensive method that seems to work exceptionally well. Chopping hay in 2- to 4-inch lengths, I let the hay lightly fall over the stalks, particularly the base, and even onto fruit to form a very open matrix. The moths will not land and lay, it appears to prevent landing of the moths. It’s possible to walk through the garden and drop fluffy handfuls of chopped hay over any exposed vines every few days quickly and efficiently, apparently completely discouraging the egg laying. This is an organic method (Obviously) and takes relatively little time in a small home garden.

If this approach is used diligently, it is nearly 100% effective. Anyone using the technique needs to make just a matrix of hay, very open and loose, LIGHTLY ALLOWED TO DROP OPENLY, A HAND FULL AT A TIME (no need to put a lot) but with small enough gaps so that the moth is discouraged. The moths DO NOT LIKE CLOSED AREAS, THEY WANT OPEN ACCESS TO STALKS AND FRUIT – AGAIN, THIS IS THE KEY). You don’t have to pack in the chopped straw, just scatter it with most pieces looking like open “pick up sticks” seems to be all that’s needed.

If you experiment with this method, you will find it EXTREMELY effective and efficient. I’ve tried to spread the word on many garden sites but have not been successful, please share the idea. Call it the Mayo technique!

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Answered on July 13, 2016

Thank you for your information and I will forward this to our Editors.

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