Thursday, May 17, 2018

Squash Bugs on the Loose

Squash crops are coming along in backyard gardens this time of year.  Protect your squash from the dreaded squash bug!  Last week, I was out checking on my squash plants, and discovered an adult squash bug, crawling along the leaves.  A quick look under the leaves uncovered a plethora of squash bug eggs.

What did I do?  Squashed the heck out of the squash bug eggs and hoped I killed every last one of them.  Then I took the adult inside and added her to my collection.

Take a good look on the underside of the leaves of your squash plants.  The plants are probably still small enough that this task isn't so daunting.  Even if the plants are large and have a lot of leaves, its well worth the effort to physically smoosh the eggs you find.  Look for brown, egg shaped, eggs in the crotch of veins of the squash leaves.

Squash bugs really like to congregated underneath the leaves and at the base of the plant, where it meets the soil.  Excessive mulch can help increase and aid squash bug populations.  Hand picking works wonders ... if you have the time.  But you can also wrap the base of the plant with foil to irritate the bugs, treat only the base of the plant if you are worried about treating the entire plant, or use a foliar insecticide labeled for veggies, being sure to get underneath the leaves.

Make sure you read that label carefully in case there is a time between treating and harvesting you need to be careful to time