Found out too late- the awful Squash Vine Borer!

My children have become very proficient at spotting bugs in the garden and calling for me to “come and look!!”

Mae Mae found this one the other day.  It was just emerging…

I was awed by the brilliance of its color and the fuzzy legs.

It really is a very cool bug!!

It looks like a Hummingbird moth to me but I’m not for sure since it doesn’t look like the one in the book 🙂

So, I’m hoping one of you will be able to identify this beautiful creature.

And if you know what this is, is it a beneficial in the garden?

Striped legs, brilliant yellow face, bright orange body, maybe an inch long.

I sure hope it’s a good bug!


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5 Responses to “Found out too late- the awful Squash Vine Borer!”

  1. Dave Green Says:

    Hate to tell you this — adult squash borer. Look over your squash plants at the base. If you see gummy looking frass, she’s already been there and the borer is inside. When it eats away enough, the plant will suddenly die.

    I slit my plants the other day and tried to stab the borers – a small stiff wire or a toothpick might have been better. Either I missed the borer, or the damage was already too far along, because I lost two plants anyway.

    If there’s no frass, I’d dust the bases of the plants with diatomacious earth. You can’t reach the juvenile borer inside, but you can get the adult when she comes to lay. Don’t get the dust inside the flowers, or you’ll also kill bees.

    • lazybfarm Says:

      Man!!!! I’m so bummed! But now I know what the moth looks like….and it’s so pretty! I’ll keep an eye out -all my squash looks so good right now. I know what it looks like when the frass is there and have also seen the worms in my plants – never have seen the adult, till now!
      Thanks so much everyone 🙂

  2. Karen P. Says:

    I was going to say squash vine borer too… They killed off every cucurbit in my garden last year except for the butternut squash.

  3. Dave Green Says:

    If it’s any consolation – 1. The adults are at least minor pollinators. and 2. Those are great photos – not too many people ever see them, not to speak of getting a pile of great photos.

  4. lazybfarm Says:

    Dave- thanks so much for your kindness. It’s funny, I went back to some info i use to identify typical garden pests and they don’t even show the moth, just the grub and the damage. Then I got to thinking, for all the years i’ve been gardening, all i remember seeing is the grub in catalogs and such. Now I know what to look for 🙂
    Thanks for all your help!

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