The Q&A Archives: Squash bugs

Question: We have serious problems with squash bugs (not the borers). They completely kill our squash, pumpkin, watermelon, and related plants. We much prefer to not put poisons on our vegetables. What course of action do you recommend. Wewould like to be able to grow zucchini and cantalope again. Alice White Berea, Kentucky

Answer: These dark brown, flat-backed insects fly into gardens in late spring, and immediately begin to suck the juices out of squash leaves, causing the leaves to wilt and turn black. Females lay yellowish-gold eggs on the undersides of squash leaves; within a few hours the eggs darken to brown. The nymphs hatch in 5 to 14 days, and, like the adults, begin to feed on the leaves. Insecticidal soap works well against both adults and nymphs, but not on the eggs. Inspect plants daily, and spray and/or hand-pick and crush any adults and nymphs you see. Crush eggs between two hard surfaces. Avoid deep mulches which give the insects a place to hide, and after your harvest remove and destroy all vines to remove overwintering sites.

« Click to go to the homepage

» Ask a question of your own

Q&A Library Searching Tips

  • When singular and plural spellings differ, as in peony and peonies, try both.
  • Search terms are not case sensitive.

Today's site banner is by ge1836 and is called "Sempervivum Henry Carrevon"