The biggest enemy to your squash will be the hideously
hard-headed Squash Vine Borer (right). The adults emerge in
June and lay groups of small, blood-red eggs at the base of
the vines of curcubit: cucumbers, squash, pumpkins and
melons. If you don't notice and crush the easily spotted
eggs, they hatch and the larvae drill in and begin eating
their way up the stem - always toward the growing end.
Leaves wilt and blossoms dry up and drop as the larvae
pass. You can squash them inside the hollow stems or use a
wire to winkle them out. Bury the operated-on sections of
stems and they should recover. Egg-laying adult females
seem to prefer summer squash. Their larvae (below) are
unable to drill into the tough stems of even young
butternut winter squash. Some experts suggest planting only
butternut, using first sets of small fruit as a fresh
vegetable and letting later fruit mature for storage.