Landscaping & Nursery Information for Home Gardeners

Borers - Garden Pests

Borers of many kinds 20 betray their presence in hollyhock, dahlia, squash and other plant stems by droppings (which suggest sawdust) on the ground outside the entrance to their burrows. When these burrows are not plugged up but are open the worms may be killed without damage to the plants by pushing a flexible wire through the entrance hole, then up and down inside the burrow. When this is done quickly enough the worm may be killed. But to make assurance doubly sure fill the cavity by means of a medicine dropper with a charge of Black Leaf Forty diluted according to manufacturers' directions. 

Should the hole be too small to admit the nozzle of the dropper, slit the stem up and down with a razor blade and after the application of the poison place a thin wood splint 4" or 5" long over the wound and, starting at the top, bind it snugly to the stalk with  tire tape so as completely to cover the wounded area. When the wound has healed (in a few days) the tape must be cut down the splint side and removed. Otherwise growth might cause a girdle at the constricted  point and the plant might suffer. Adapted from an article by Carroll Bill in Horticulture. 

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