Squash Surgery: A Tutorial (with video!)

When Tom and Arlene Whitten (EMG 2017) noticed the telltale signs of squash vine borer on their squash, they decided to take the unusual route of performing surgery in order to salvage their plants.  “I figured I had nothing to lose and everything to gain,” said Arlene.  Added Tom, “This is what happens when you’re bored.”

Not sure if you have squash vine borer?  Look for these clues:

Also look for a hole where the little critter entered your plant.  In this picture, the end of the knife is pointing at the hole:


These are the tools you will need (or something similar):


How to get started:

The next step is to open it up:

This is what the inside looks like:


And this is what your plant could end up looking like if the bug is not stopped:


Once the plant is open, search for the vine borer:

This is what the borer looks like:


Remove him and all of his friends, and then use twist ties to securely close the plant back together:


And then:


So does it work? It does! Here is a squash plant eight days post-surgery:


So healthy! And best of all, here is the fruit it produced after the operation:


Success! Thank you Tom and Arlene Whitten!

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