Squash Vine Borer Prevention

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I was out inspecting a garden recently and noticed a couple of insects that I thought were worth noting.
The first one that caught my eye was a red insect flying around the squash plants. At first, I thought it must be a wasp of some sort flying around looking for a caterpillar to feed on. It would land on a leaf and then flit to another leaf. I watched it for a few minutes trying to get a picture of it landing on one of the leaves so I could identify it. When I was finally able to get a good look at the insect, I discovered it was the adult stage of the squash vine borer.
Squash vine borer

Squash vine borer

This colorful insect lays a few eggs on the stem of the plant which then hatch after a few days and the larva burrow into the stem to eat out the inside, preventing the plant from being able to transport water and nutrients to the leaves of the plant, which then wilt and die. A quick and easy fix is to coat the stems of the plant with a product containing Bacillus thuringiensis as the active ingredient to kill the larvae as soon as it hatches. Another option is to bury the stem of the plant under mulch or soil so the adult squash vine borer can’t find the stem to lay her eggs on. 
The second thing that caught my eye were the pretty golden eggs on the upper side of the squash leaf. They are more typically laid on the lower surface of the leaf, making them a little more difficult to find. These, however, were on the top of the leaf and very easy to spot. They are the eggs of the dreaded squash bug that feeds on the juices of the plant by piercing the outer layer of the leaf, stem or fruit with it’s proboscis (needle-like mouthpart). If you find these eggs on your squash plant, squash them or remove them, then look for the adult that laid the eggs and get rid of her as well.
Squash bug eggs

Squash bug eggs

Together, these are two of the most dreaded insects that can be found on squash plants. If you are growing squash, zucchini, pumpkins, watermelon, or other melons in your garden, be on the lookout for these insects and get them under control while they are small.