Squash Bug invasion!


Old 07-26-11, 08:41 PM
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Squash Bug invasion!

I thought this thread would go along nicely with the other "invasion" threads. LOL

So I've got a pretty nice patch (i.e. garden) going. I've had some problems with squash vine borers getting into my zucchini (killed 2 out of 4) and white mold rotting much of the earliest fruit that started to set on. But my bigger potential problem is squash bugs. They are mainly on my decorative pumpkin, gourds (I've got about 20 feet of them on a 6 ft trellis, so it's quite a forest), and on the zucchini that have managed to live thru the SVB. I have not noticed them on the cantaloupe, watermelon, butternut squash, or cucumbers. (although something else seems to be biting the cucumber vines and is killing them one by one).

They are probably more of an annoyance than anything, but I have been trying to control them by 1). killing any adults I can find... 2). cutting off all leaves that have eggs present on them (these go in a 5 gallon bucket of water) 3). spraying any nymphs that hatch with a natural neem oil + insecticidal soap that seems to kill them pretty well. I have been checking my patch every day and am trying to keep a handle on this before I have too many hatch and it gets out of control. I know I'm probably not getting 100% of them but at least I'm doing something. I bet I've dunked a couple thousand eggs and have probably killed 30 or so adults. I'm finding less and less new eggs every day, so hopefully I have a handle on it.

But I was wondering if anyone has found anything that has worked better for them that they'd like to share?
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Old 08-07-11, 06:16 AM
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My brother is curruntly battling the squash bug invasion too.
He has also lost many plants. He has found most of the adult beetles burrowing near the base of the plant where they either suck the life out of the vine or carry some type wilt disease. He has resorted to a pesticidal spray made by Spectracide.
Simply wash veggies well before consuming.
I don't believe there is an organic way to deal with the pests.
Old 08-08-11, 01:00 PM
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I'm afraid I lost the battle with the vine borers. We had a few good seasons but once the bugs found the garden it was all over. This year I tried planting the squashes as far away from their location last year and it seems to have bought a couple extra weeks but in the end the bugs found them. Next year I'm afraid we will have to try an insecticide or just not grow squashes.
Old 08-08-11, 06:58 PM
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The bugs I was referring to in the post above are squash bugs.


They are not the same as the Squash vine borer (SVB) moth / larvae.



Also not the same as striped or spotted cucumber beetles, which lay eggs, burrow into stems, and carry bacterial wilt.


Bacterial wilt:


I have battled all three to some extent, but my biggest problem was the squash bugs.

Picking the eggs and putting them in a 5 gallon bucket of water was very effective in controlling them. I just had to keep checking them every day for a couple weeks. Haven't seen a one for a while now. Can't imagine what it would have been like if I hadn't noticed them or taken any action.

Bacterial wilt has gotten about half of my cucumbers, and the SVB has killed 2 out of 4 zucchini squash. Butternut squash seems unaffected by most bugs, I have read that it's pretty resistant, which is a good thing since it's my favorite squash and it produces abundantly without hardly any attention!

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