Pests in the Squash Patch…

squash bug reuse
Adult Squash Bug

The summer heat awakens an army of critters hungry for the squash, cucumbers, and melons you lovingly cared for all this time. It can be frustrating when everything seems to be going fine then one morning you wake up to find your plants riddled with holes and tiny jewel like eggs glistening in the rising sun. Don’t fear…there is hope.

Chemical free methods to get rid of the dreaded squash bug.

Unfortunately there is not an “easy” way to remove the eggs of the squash bug (Anasa tristis); it is a voracious pest which can decimate your cucurbits and winter squash. Our forebears tediously picked each and every egg off by hand then duct tape was invented.

Squash_bug_eggs reuse
Adult Squash Bug

Duct tape is an easy way to remove the squash bug eggs and larva without harming the leaves.

Squash_bug_nymph_reuse
Nymph stage

Although the nymphs and eggs can be removed by hand, eggs cling to the tops, stems, and undersides of leaves with a tenacity which often leaves holes when scratched off with the fingernail. Wrap the tape sticky side out, around your fingers. Blot the nymphs and eggs off of the leaves like you would if removing fuzz off of a piece of clothing. Duct tapes strong adhesive pulls the buggers off and creates a nice little package for the rubbish bin. Be sure to check your plants daily until the treat has passed.

Squash bugs love to hide under dead leaves and debris.

Keep a clean garden free of dead leaves, weeds, and other things squash bugs can hide under. Some folks swear by setting “traps” by laying a board or shingle under their squash plants then peaking under it every morning and catching the adult bugs. As the garden season draws to a close, remove all debris, brush piles, etc from the garden area to prevent squash bugs from overwintering.

 

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