The Squash Vine Borer (Melittia cucurbitae), is a clearwing moth that are a common and destructive pest of many vine crops, especially winter squash, summer squash and pumpkins. They will sometimes affect cucumbers and melons, but not as commonly.
At the beginning of summer (late June or early July in most places), adults will emerge from their winter cocoons in the soil. These adults are about ½" long and have an orange abdomen with black spots. Because they fly during the day (unlike most moths), this may be when they are first spotted (although they are often mistaken for moths). Shortly after emerging, the SVB will find their above-mentioned favored host plants to lay their eggs under. About a week later, the eggs hatch out into larvae. The larvae will then immediately begin boring into, and feeding off of, the host plant's stems and sometimes several borer larvae will attach to a single plant. The larvae will continue to feed on the plant for 4-6 weeks, and then they will return to the soil and pupate. The pupae will then remain in the ground until they emerge as adults the following summer and begin the cycle anew.
As the larvae feed, they go right though the center of the stems. This blocks the flow of water to the rest of the plant and causes it to wilt. This wilting is usually the first sign of a SVB attack, but with closer observation you may also see small holes in the base of the plant and/or the droppings (frass) of the insects, which looks like sawdust and can be green to orange-yellow in color. Left unchecked, the wilting process will cause the host plants to become weaker and weaker and eventually collapse and die as their bases rot away.
Getting a handle on an SVB infestation can require a multi-pronged, aggressive approach. Removal of the larvae either manually or with an instrument, applications of diatomaceous earth, beneficial nematodes or biocontrol agents and capturing the moths themselves can all be components of an eradication program. However you elect to treat the problem, early detection, accurate monitoring, and effective trapping are essential for proper control of your pest problem. This trap kit has what you need to detect, monitor, and trap these troublesome pests while they are in their adult stage.
The Squash Vine Borer Trap & Lure comes with 2 disposable paper diamond traps and a lure that selectively attracts the Melittia cucurbita. The lure will bring the adult borer moths in and the strong adhesive surface of the traps will hold them securely and prevent their escape. Both traps and lures are non-toxic and safe to use around people and pests.
Results may vary due to seasonal changes, insect pest population variations, natural predator populations, correct trap installation, proper lure storage and weather extremes, disruption, damage and/or contamination due to chemical sprays, pets, children, sprinklers or other unforeseen events.
You can find the following assembly instructions with illustrations under the DOCS tab.
Assembly of Diamond Trap:
- Grasp top and bottom of trap and pull apart.
- Fold perforated end inward to hold trap in a three dimensional shape.
- Grasp and pull down to pull trap into place. Fold ends inward.
- Open the protective packet and remove the lure. Place lure on inside on the top of the trap.
- Hang the trap by placing a twist-tie hangar through the hole in the top of the trap and hang in an appropriate location.
- Inspect the traps regularly and remove insects and debris.
- Traps should be deployed beginning in early spring (at least 2 weeks before bud break) through the summer (or April through August).
- Place traps high in trees, maintaining a foliage-free space of 12-18" around the trap. Take care to avoid wind and rain as much as possible.
- NEVER hang trap below foliage canopy or closer than 4 feet to the ground.
- Use 1 trap for small or dwarf trees and 2 for larger trees.
Replacing The Trap:
- Replace diamond trap as necessary when sticky surface becomes covered with debris, dust or insect scales.
- The lure lasts 8 weeks. The trap and lure should be replaced every 8 weeks to insure full season coverage.
For best results, hang traps 5-10 feet away from grow area or garden plot to draw adult borers away
- To prolong the storage life of lure, refrigerate or freeze unused lures in their protective packet.
- Use of tweezers or rubber gloves for handling lures in recommended to avoid contaminating the lure, especially if traps for more than one insect are being prepared.
- Sticky material from traps can be removed with cooking oil.
- Although the surface of this trap contains no dangerous chemicals, it is extremely sticky. Therefore, keep it out of reach of children and pets. If sticky material gets on your hands, remove with vegetable oil.