Squash vine borer is active, with several reports from commercial producers and home gardeners. This pest often goes unnoticed until their larvae have done considerable damage to vines of summer squash, winter squash, and pumpkins. While UK Entomology is not trapping for this pest this year, previous studies have shown that the adults are active from mid-June until the end of July.
To protect vines from damage, commercial growers often treat for squash vine borer every 2 weeks beginning in mid-May through the end of July. Sprays are used to prevent larvae from infesting vines; once eggs hatch and larvae tunnel into vines, it is not possible to control them with insecticides.
Home gardeners can use insecticide sprays or floating row covers to protect vines. Row covers need to be removed for a 2-week period to allow for pollination during bloom; after this, row covers can be placed back over plants.
By Ric Bessin, Extension Entomologist