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Squishing the Squash Bug

I decided that it was time to step a way from the packing for a moment and get a new blog post up.  As much as I would have liked to spend more time gardening, it’s been nothing but packing, cleaning, and getting rid of things I no longer need.  It does really feel good to get rid of stuff you no longer need that has been doing nothing but cluttering the house.

So this morning when I let the dog out I went to check on the garden.  It’s so much easier to be outside now that the suffocating heat has finally broke.  So, as I’m browsing I go to check on the yellow squash and what do I find?

Immature squash bugs

A huge cluster of immature squash bugs.  I was not happy. They cause the brown dead areas you see in the picture.  If you don’t get a population under control they can really reduce production or kill the plant.  As with many bugs, it’s easier to control them when young when they are more susceptible.

Here’s a good picture of the eggs they lay.

Squash bug eggs

If you see these…remove them.  You should be able to scrap them off the leaf and then get rid of the eggs.  Squash bugs will also attack other plants besides squash.  I’ve had them on pumpkins before. They attack both pumpkins and squash quite happily.  They are annoying, frustrating, and can be a real pain to get under control. What’s even more frustrating is that they are attacking the squash which is doing a million times better than the zucchini which is right next store.  Really?  Little buggers.

So, what do you do to deal with them.  Remove the eggs. Go on a bug squishing spree.  You can also put boards down around the plant at night.  The adults will take shelter there and then in the morning you can go on further squishing sprees.  It’s really best to catch these guys as early as possible.  The one chemical spray you can use I will not recommend due to severe toxicity to honey bees.  Honey bees are already struggling enough as it is, so I don’t like to use sprays if I don’t have to.  I’ve always joked that I garden naturally because I’m too darn lazy to spray.  So far it’s worked.

Make sure you’re out scouting for these guys.  And for one final picture before the house packing continues…two adult squash bugs doing the nasty.  Darn things have been way too busy.Adult squash bugs mating

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