Squash Bugs - Knowledgebase Question

Orangevale, CA
Question by bmiller43
March 22, 1999
I plant organically. I rotate my planting areas, but every year I get squash bugs. I have success killing them with Ivory soap and water, but they multiply faster than I can kill them off, and destroy my plants. Any suggestions?


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Answer from NGA
March 22, 1999

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Squash Vine Borers can go through two generations in a season, so it's no wonder they reproduce faster than you can get rid of them! If you find the caterpiller looking larva feeding within the vines, cut a slit in the plant tissue and remove the borer. Then bury the plant stem in the soil so it will take root. Some other controls include sprinkling wood ashes, crushed black pepper or camphor around vine bases to deter invasion. Or, plant radishes around the vine bases. You can try wrapping a foil collar, or a piece of panthyhose around the plant base to keep the adults from laying eggs. Finally, trichogramma wasps are natural predators. To attract them try to have something blooming in your garden all season long. Predatory wasps prefer disk or ray shaped flowers like daisies or mums, or small umbel-shaped flowers such as parsley. Hope this helps!

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