Squash Vine Borers
Pest Type: Insect
Damage to Plant: Stems suddenly wilt and die. Greenish, sawdust-like excrement is piled around small entry holes near stem bases and on the ground.
An eastern pest, the squash vine borer is a 1 inch long caterpillar with a white, accordion like body and a brown head. It tunnels inside plant stems, cutting off the flow of nutrients and water. Infested vines may contain just one borer or as many as a hundred.
Life Cycle: When cucurbits begin to flower, red and black moths lay shiny, mahogany brown eggs singly, usually on stems near plant bases. Caterpillars hatch in 1 to 2 weeks; they bore into stems and feed for about a month, then pupate in the soil. There are one or two generations a year. The pest overwinters underground as either a caterpillar or a pupa.