The Q&A Archives: Squash Bugs

Question: Last year the squash bugs pretty much ruined my crop. I dusted with Sevin around the plants regularly. It seemed to have almost no effect on the bugs. I lost all my plants before it was over. Although I washed the few squash that I did harvest, I still did not like the thought of eating them after all that Sevin dusting. In the years past Iv'e not had a problem with squash bugs.T hen all at once here they are. Do you know of a better way to fight these pests? Is there a natural way to fight them?

Answer: Squash vine borers can be a real problem once they become established in a garden. You can try rotating your crops to a different area of the garden to foil the pests, and planting a little later in the year to have your crops at a different stage of development when the population of squash bugs peaks. There are companion plants you can grow near your squash to repel the pests (try growing radishes next to the bases of the vines), or you can sprinkle wood ashes, crushed black pepper or camphor around vines bases to deter invasion. Finally, try wrapping a foil collar or piece of pantyhose around the plant base to keep the moths from laying their eggs. Hope you have a healthier crop of squash this year!

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