Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Warning! Nasty pictures...vine borers

I was cutting off some of the yellowing leaves on the zucchini plants. After I finished I went to pick up all the leaves and saw the most disgusting white grub.  It took me a while, about half the day, to realize this was not a good thing. I googled vine borer and saw a picture of an insect that I had seen a couple of times on the balcony. Before work, I checked the zucchini in the smaller container. Bad sign #1.
Near the bottom there was a saw-dust like pile right where the larvae most likely dug into the stem. I took the scissor and cut into the vine and found this:
and this:
EWWWWW! I was so disgusted I had severed the stem completely. I salvaged all the small zucchinis on the vine and threw the plant away. After work, I wanted to check the plant in the larger container. I slit the stem and found some damage but didn't find any larvae - it is possible that I just missed it. I tried to removed all the damaged stem and attempted to put it all back together.
I tied up the stem to close it up, wrapped the larger stem with a paper towel and buried the smaller stem under some fresh soil (after tying it up).
I'm just going to keep an eye on it and see if it survives the surgery. Maybe it is too late but I'll also try to start some seeds for the fall.


  1. Dear surgeon I hope your patient recovers very well. Really bad pest there. Urghhh.

  2. I hope my patient recovers too! So far it looks OK!

  3. Ugh, I've been down this road before. You were more patient and forgiving than I was. I just scrapped the plant and started over. I hope your patient recovers!

  4. Thanks Ben. I've also been checking behind the leaves for eggs but haven't found any yet.