The Q&A Archives: Getting Rid Of Squash Bugs

Question: Last year nearly all my squashes were ruined by squash bugs. No matter what I did Icouldn't get rid of them. I'm sure they are inthe soil just waiting to reappear. How do I prepare the soil to rid the garden of these pests?

Answer: There are several ways to fight this pest. One is to be fanatical about cleaning up and destroying plant debris during the summer and in the fall. Next, turn over the soil in the fall and again in the spring to expose the pests. Also be very careful about rotating your crops so you do not grow cucumbers, melons, pumpkins, squash or gourds or zucchini in the same location for at least three years apart. Then, if you think there will still be a problem, cover your plants with summer weight floating row cover to exclude the adults. (This means yo will need to hand pollinate or remove the cover periodically to allow for pollination by insects.) Excluding them works very well. You can also try to time your planting to follow their emergence, but sometimes this is difficult to time right.

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