squash bugs - Knowledgebase Question

Boise, Id
Avatar for mywhlsrhis
Question by mywhlsrhis
July 8, 2010
I'm noticing squash bugs (black squarish looking) on my zucchini & crookneck plants all of a sudden. There is already squash growing out and didn't know if I should apply something to kill the bugs. If yes, what do I use?

Answer from NGA
July 8, 2010
Squash bugs are about 1/2" long, brown or grey, and shaped a bit like a shield. They suck the juices out of leaves and stems. They feed in groups. To control them, find their masses of yellow to reddish-brown eggs on the underside of leaves and squash them. The adult bugs like to hide in leaf litter or under boards, stones, etc. at night. Since they overwinter under garden debris, and there is only one generation per year, it is possible to reduce their population with diligence early in the season. You can place boards or similar around plants, then go out early in the morning to kill any bugs hiding underneath. Pull mulch away from the base of plants too, to eliminate hiding places. Rotate crops every planting season and clean up plant debris, where the bugs can overwinter. You can use an insecticide such as Sevin but I spray occasionally with a pyrethrin/rotenone product. This is an organic option with good "knock down power" on the bugs.

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