The Q&A Archives: Squash Beetles

Question: Well, the squash beetles have appeared and are feasting on my zuccinis and cucumber plants. Last year, I was able to controll them by picking and squishing the at night when they are out mating. This year there are too many. I need an organic pesticide that will di them in. Any suggestions? Molly B.

Answer: If by organic you mean no insecticides at all, handpicking is the best way to control them. However, if you are not opposed to spraying, Permethrin is the oldest, and most common of the pyrethroid insecticides. It is widely available and is sold under a large number of different brand names (Bonide?s Total Pest Control, Bioneem by Safer; Power Force Multi-Insect Killer by Bayer). Permethrin is labeled for use on many different vegetable crops and is effective against many beetle, bug, and caterpillar pests. Because it controls so many different insect pests and is labeled for use on most vegetables, this is probably one of the most useful insecticides for home vegetable gardeners to keep on hand. Good luck with your garden!

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