squash - Knowledgebase Question

Braintree, Ma
Question by mcmolis
August 13, 2010
some kind of boring bug is killing my squash plants. I sprayed with some SEVIN bug killer it seems to have done the trick. Is there an organic product that will as well?


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Answer from NGA
August 13, 2010

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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. Just look for Rotenone in the organic section of your garden center. Enjoy your squash!

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