Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Agronomy, Horticulture, and Plant Science

First Advisor

E. Brent Turnipseed


The squash vine borer, Melittia cucurbitae Harris, (Lepidoptera: Sesiidae) is a destructive insect known to injure a broad range of cucurbit crops. Many studies have focused on insecticide management of this insect in squash (Cucurbita) and pumpkin (Cucurbita pepo Linnaeus) production; however, little work has been documented on organic approaches to reduce or eliminate injury from this pest to these crops in the Midwest. This study used trap cropping and pollinator mixtures to test whether a reduction of squash vine borer could be achieved in a specific cultivar of pumpkins, Cucurbita pepo ‘Howden’. The study was conducted during the 2015 growing season and compared plantings of ‘Howden’ pumpkins with three treatment perimeters. The first perimeter consisted of a wildflower pollination mixture with a common winter squash, Cucurbita maxima ‘Hubbard’ Gregory, known to attract squash vine borer, as the trap crop. The second perimeter contained only the wildflower pollination mixture while the third perimeter for this experiment consisted of bare soil. The presence of squash vine borer injury within the cash crops of ‘Howden’ pumpkins was reduced when surrounded by a perimeter crop consisting of a wildflower pollination mixture and a trap crop of ‘Hubbard’ squash. The pollination/trap treatment provided value in addition to its potential to attract the squash vine borer. The flowers of the wildflower pollination mixture attracted many beneficial insects that helped optimize the pollination process of the cash crop of ‘Howden’ pumpkins.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Pumpkin -- Diseases and pests -- Cultural control.
Squashes -- Diseases and pests -- Cultural control.


Includes bibliographical references



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


Copyright © 2017 Brett L. Owens

Included in

Horticulture Commons