Solarizing soil – Eliminate pupae

Q: I had a horrible time with squash vine borers this year. Will solarizing my soil this winter (clear plastic covering for 6-8 weeks) help eliminate the pupae for next year?

A: Solarizing in winter won’t heat the soil enough to kill the overwintering larva. But you can do three things that will help control them: Till the soil in late December and again in February to destroy the larvae in their soil cocoons. Apply insecticide (Sevin, etc) to the stem of the plant from the time it begins to run until the first male flowers appear. Consider covering the young plants with floating row cover (Remay, etc) up until female flowers begin to form.

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