Clearwing Moth, Squash Vine Borer (Melittia cucurbitae)

Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Sesiidae
Genus: Melittia
Species: cucurbitae


This bug has been reportedly found in the following regions:

Little Rock, Arkansas
Wilmington, Delaware
Downers Grove, Illinois
Des Moines, Iowa
Millersville, Maryland
Jackson, Mississippi
Anderson, Missouri
Catawissa, Missouri
Springfield, Missouri
Ballston Lake, New York
Cincinnati, Ohio
Columbus, Ohio (2 reports)
Novelty, Ohio
Hummelstown, Pennsylvania
Greenwood, South Carolina
Austin, Texas
Spring, Texas
Morgantown, West Virginia
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Members' Notes:


On Jun 1, 2012, mullet22 from Homosassa, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

We garden in containers here in zone 9a ish. Trying covers now for squash...such a shame to see ur beautiful baby squash be devastated by these worms.


On Jun 20, 2011, Shady13825 from Novelty, OH wrote:

In 2008 and 09, this bug devastated our spaghetti and zucchini squashes. Last year, I put aluminum foil collars around each plant plus the cucumbers. I had no borers. Instead, the cucumber beetle got the cucumbers and just this year they are chomping away on the squash.


On May 25, 2011, Bazuhi from Downers Grove, IL (Zone 5a) wrote:

The moth.. as soon as the female hatches she starts laying her at a time on the main stem and I read everywhere even the leaf stems so your not safe protecting the bottom half of the plant. The female lays 250 to 500 eggs in her 6 weeks of life.. I know I will never find all the eggs!! You can spray Sevin but that will only kill the larva once it hatches and before it burrows into the vine so you have to be diligent to keep the spray fresh and always spray in the evening when the flowers close for the night so you do not infect the flowers with the Sevin product killing the bees. I also read if you put out pans painted bright yellow paint and add water that the moths are attracted to the yellow and will come to it and fall into the water.. This is a great way to see if the moth i... read more


On Mar 28, 2011, GardenLady2 from Spring, TX wrote:

Have had problems in the past with this squash plant destroyer! What is a good organic solution for them on zucchini plants?


On Jul 12, 2009, sallyg from Anne Arundel,, MD (Zone 7b) wrote:

An orange and black, waspy looking moth, note the long antennae with a curve at the end. I saw two around the base of my squash plants today and yesterday one feeding on the blossoms of catnip.


On Aug 28, 2006, Magpye from NW Qtr, AR (Zone 6a) wrote:

Also known as .. a Squash Vine Borer.