Many of us have or want to grow squash plants in our vegetable garden, but one thing you must worry about is a squash bug infestation.
Before you get to planting, you must know what squash bugs are and how to get rid of them. And that’s exactly what we go over today. Keep reading below to find out more.
How To Get Rid Of Squash Bugs
Have you noticed your squash plants and pumpkin plants not doing too well? Have the leaves of the plant started to wilt? Then you may have a squash pest such squash bugs, also known as Anasa tristis invading your garden.
These garden pests tend to show up around late spring and early summer. This is when the female squash bug lays most of the squash bug eggs. During this time, it’s smart to check the undersides of the leaves to see if you have an infestation.
To ensure you use the proper treatment, you first need to determine if your old and young plants are being attacked by squash bugs or squash vine borers. You would be shocked at how often people get them confused. To help figure it out, check out our post below:
You Might Also Like: All About Squash Bugs vs Squash Vine Borers
How To Identify Squash Bugs
Adult squash bugs and squash bug nymphs both have different appearances. The adult bugs are large flat bugs. Their body is a grayish black, while their abdomen has orange and brown stripes.
They have similar features to stink bugs; however, stink bugs let off a smell when they are disturbed, and squash bugs only smell when squished. On the other hand, young nymphs are gray with black legs. You can identify their eggs easily.
They usually lay eggs in clusters on the underside of the leaves of the plant. You can tell if your plants have squash bug damage by looking at them. If you notice dead leaves and your mature plants are looking deflated, chances are you have squash bugs sucking the sap out of your plant stems, fruit, and vines.
Squash Bug Control
There are many ways to stop squash bugs from destroying your thriving garden, from natural to chemical treatments. Today we will be focusing mostly on the organic methods that won’t harm your organic gardening.
First, you need to determine the hiding places of the squash bugs and where their egg clusters are located. After that, you can start one of the processes below.
- Row covers: Row covers are great at preventing pests, especially flying insects, from getting to your plants; however, they prevent beneficial insects as well
- Duct tape: Duct tape may seem like a weird item to use, but it can be very helpful. Anytime you see clusters of eggs, you want to get a piece of tape and remove the eggs with it. This is a way more effective way than picking them off. Just lay the tape sticky side down on the eggs and pull it back and it should pull them off.
- Soapy water: Soapy water is the go-to pest control for many. This is because it’s known to kill many harmful insects, including squash bugs. All you need are gloves, and a bucket of soapy water Dawn is a good soap option. When you see a squash bug, you just have to pick it off your plant and place it in the bucket.
- Removing infested garden debris: This is one of the most effective methods for an infestation, and to keep it from spreading to your other susceptible plants. All you need are gloves and trash bags. Gather up all the infested and contaminated plant debris and dispose of it in a trash bag. Do not put the contaminated plant in with your compost. That will cause your compost pile to be infested as well.
- Use organic insecticides: Organic insecticides such as ones with a 100% cold-pressed neem oil base are great for getting rid of pests on all different kinds of plants without harming your plants. This includes squash crops.
You Might Also Like: Squash Vine Borer Eggs vs Squash Bug Eggs
That’s it. Now you know how to identify squash bugs as well as how to get rid of them. What other pests should we cover? Let us know in the comments. We would love to hear from you.