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Gardener shares hassle-free hack for protecting your plants from annoying pests: 'Definitely trying this'

"Stay vigilant!"

Gardening hack to protect plants from squash vine borer moth

Photo Credit: @juliadimakos / Instagram

An Instagram user has shared their clever gardening hack that protects plants from pesky insect disruptors — and the single item you need for it is sitting right in your kitchen.

The scoop

In a recent video, Instagram user Julia Dimakos (@juliadimakos) explains a simple method for keeping your plants safe from pests — specifically squash vine borer moths, which frequently lay eggs on the stems of plants like squashes, zucchinis, pumpkins, and cucumbers.

The hack just takes one extra ingredient — aluminum foil — and a few seconds of getting your hands dirty.

"I've wrapped the base with foil. It's pretty firm on the ends but there's lots of space over here so the plant is not being choked," Dimakos says in the video, gesturing to the stem of a vegetable plant.

At the end of the video, Dimaoks shows the replanted plant with just a little bit of the foil-wrapped area sticking out of the soil's surface, which means the rest of the foil is protecting the plant underneath.

"When the squash vine borer moth flies around … it will have a hard time laying its eggs," Dimakos says.

How it's helping

Dimakos' trick keeps creepy crawlies like the squash vine borer moths from infesting their plants below the surface — which means that if insects lay their eggs on the plant, they are forced to do so in a visible area where Dimakos can easily spot the eggs and remove them.

The eggs of these moths, active from mid-June to mid-July, hatch into larvae that feed within the vines of squash plants — and they can destroy an entire year's worth of crops if there are too many borers in a small area, according to the University of Minnesota. The larvae take up valuable space in the middle of plants' stems, which blocks the flow of water throughout the plant, causing the plants to wilt. 

Using easy hacks like Dimakos's to keep your garden healthy can save you money and prevent your exposure to harmful chemicals and pesticides. By maintaining your access to homegrown produce, you can save money on groceries and limit your consumption of the pesticides often used on store-bought fruits and vegetables.

What everyone's saying

Users shared their enthusiasm for Dimakos's hack in the comment section.

"Omg this would help with pill bugs too!! Def doing this! Thanks for sharing!" one user said.

"I lost so many seedlings to half eaten stems earlier! Going to try this," another user wrote.

"Elastic Bandage Wrap also works very well. Stay vigilant!" a third user commented.

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