I was pulling weeds around my new, perky pumpkin vine plants when I saw a very pretty, red winged insect on a big pumpkin leaf.

Fascinated, I watched as it started doing what looked like rapid bug pushups.

Shocked, I realized that it was laying eggs right before my eyes! How DARE you? The nerve!!!

I dashed inside, checked the Internet, and realized that it was a squash vine borer adult. Rut ro! I had seen a little video of the super ugly, chubby larva that come from those eggs. The larva bores into the squash vine, and can RUIN a huge squash plant in a matter of hours. AA-OO-GAH!!!!

I had lost several zucchini, yellow squash and other pumpkin vines to the pest years ago. What it looked like was a mystery to me, so the sudden loss was devastating and unexpected. I hadn’t had the guts to grow any squash plants since. Determined to be an organic gardener, I can’t bring myself to use pesticides even in the face of disasters like that. But this year, with grandchildren, there HAD to be pumpkins.

Hurriedly, I filled a pitcher with water and Dawn dishwashing soap. I stormed out there. I saw the red bug, and doused it with the murderous soap water. It immediately dropped dead.

V-i-c-t-o-r-y! That’s the gardener’s battle cry!

At least, today, I won. We’ll see about tomorrow’s skirmish with the enemy. There’s a lot of ‘em out there.


Then I will make up to you for the years

that the swarming locust has eaten,

the creeping locust, the stripping locust

and the gnawing locust,

my great army which I sent among you.

–Joel 2:25

By Susan Darst Williams • 6/23/2020 • www.RadiantBeams.org • © 2020