The Q&A Archives: Small Holes In Zucchini and Squash Leaves

Question: My zucchini and squash plants are just starting to come up and I've noticed a couple small holes in a couple of the leaves. I've tried looking for any sort of bug, but have found nothing. Is there some kind of safe pesticide or spray that I should be using in my vegetable garden?

Answer: The culprit munching on the leaves of your young plants may likely be the cucumber beetle. Small with black heads and greenish-yellow wings, they can be either spotted or striped. They not only chew on young seedlings, but also spread disease. When found, handpick beetles and destroy. Cover young plants with floating row cover, but remember to uncover when the flowering begins so bees can pollinate the crop. Later plantings usually are less prone to attack by the cuke beetle. A nearby planting of radishes can act as a "trap crop" for the beetles, luring them away from the squash. Pyrethrin spray can be used as a last resort.

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