All curcurbits: gourds, pumpkins, summer squash, winter squash and occasionally cucumbers and melons are hosts to the squash vine borer.
I used row covers before the squash plants flowered to prevent pests, but the following actions described in the book, Good Bug, Bad Bug by Jessica Walliser may have prevented my recent vine borer attack:
- Mound soil over the stem up to the lower-most flower to eliminate egg laying surface area and encourage root development.
- Wrap a strip of aluminum foil around the plant base early in the season, to prevent adults from laying eggs on the stem. Nestle the foil just below the soil surface, reaching up to the lowermost leaf.
We could try and save the plants by cutting the stem and digging out the vine borer larva, then covering the cut stem with dirt. But, I learned my lesson, next summer I will remember, “mound and wrap.”