Squash Bugs

sadie423May 29, 2009

Last year we lost nearly all of our cucumber and zucchini to squash bugs. It was the first year we ever had them, and didn't know what they were until it was too late.

Now I know what to look for....and this evening I found the first cluster of eggs on the zucchini leaves. (squished them) and found a few adult bugs around the base of the plant- squished the ones I saw.

So what is a good control of these? Other than removing all the eggs/bugs I see...is there anything I can do to kill them? Half our garden is the squash family and before too long it will be too much to check each leaf of 6 zucchini, a dozen cuke and many more winter squash plants.

Thanks for any advice,


Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
fountaam(z5 n IN)

Next year you might try row cover.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2009 at 11:41PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

That depends on which Squash bug you are talking about, the Squash Vine Borer or the Squash Bug or the Stripped or Spotted Cucumber Beetles although the first defense is a good healthy soil that will grow strong and healthy plants.
Then Floating Row Cover for all of them can be of some help as can providing an environment that will encourage the predators of these buggers. Hand picking the adults and squishing the eggs is a very effective means of control. Wrapping the plant stems to keep the SVB larva from getting to the stems alos can help.
For the Squash Vine Borer injecting some "Bacillus thuringiensis - Kurstaki" into the plant stem ahead of the larva has been effective (although keeping that bugger from getting there is better), Insecticidal Soaps (although broad spectrum poisons they are not very long lasting) can help when properly sprayed on the insect pest. If necessary Neem Oil products can be used with due care since these are also broad spectrum poisons that last longer than the IS, but again they must contact the target pest, and Neem Oil has a greater chance of killing off any predators that may be there.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2009 at 7:32AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Squash bugs of all types are one of the insects that respond to the old "bug juice" method. Collect a bunch of them - as many as possible and put them in an old blender with a cup or two of water and a clove of garlic and blend until completely liquified. Then spray the plant once a week. This usually keeps them away, or at least at bay. It's worth a shot!

The Garden Guy
http://www.TheGardenGuy.org A Free Site!
New May Article: Sucession Planting, plus ongoing
garden journal and interactive message boards.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2009 at 9:23AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The concept of Nuclear Polyhedris Virus, Ron. You take some of the insect pest, whiz them in your blender with some water, and let them steep for a few days to let what is the destructive virus those insects may have develop. Then strain, dilute, and spray.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2009 at 7:33AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

sadie423 A few years ago i lost my whole crop of zucchini, then they moved to my pumpkins, then to my lone watermelon plant that i had. That was my first year of gardening and i didnt know what they where, now that I do I have been sparaying with neem oil early morning or late at night before the sun goes down, and it has workled like a charm. I may see a few squash bugs, but they never feed anymore. I hihgly recommend the neem oil .
I use 2 tablespoons of neem in a sprayer bottle with 2 gallons of water and 2 drops of liquid soap. ( i use organic soap too , sick i know). Hope this helps ya. I spray maybe twice a year, more if i see more problems, like the powdery mildew on the leave later in the year.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2009 at 1:31PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I am talking about squash bugs- at least that is what I have always called them. Look like stink bugs, lay their eggs in clusters on the back of the leaves, and utterly destroy a healthy plant into a wilted mess in one day. So far I have been destroying eggs and bugs I find, and haven't had a problem as far as plants dying. They seem to prefer my one squash plant the most. I also am finding a small beetle...yellow and black....striped. Is that the cucumber beetle mentioned? It seems to be on all my winter squash, zucchini and cukes, but not doing major damage,. just nibbling here and there. (Not great numbers, but enough to notice).

Is neem oil safe? I've never sprayed anything. When I first posted the search wasn't working, but I did a search on squash bugs and there were a few older threads and Neem was mentioned too.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2009 at 4:52PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

There is a squash bug, gray in color, that looks like one of the Stink Bugs and these gals lay eggs on the undersides of the leaf. The Stripped Cucumber Beetle is yellow and black stripped and these also will munch on squash plants.
Neem Oil is a broad spectrum poison, in is an insecticide and the purpose of all insecticides is to kill insects and that is what Neem Oil will do. If you follow the lable directions, and do not spray too much Neem Oil can be safe, but it is a broad spectrum poison that kills on contact as well as when ingested and it is toxic to bees. Some people think Neem Oil is non toxic, but if it was non toxic it would not kill insects and then would not be an insecticide. Neem Oil does have very low toxicity to humans.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2009 at 8:35PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

kimmsr i think you might be mistaken on this one bud. neem oil .according to the literature , does not kill on contact, but does stop the bugs from feeding. also neem is an alternative medicine for humans, and is used for dysbiosis or fungal over growth in humans. However i do agree with you to use as directed. Also the litarature also states that i may increase earth worms, i am not sure how it does this, but this is my third year using it and I have more earth worms than ever, now is thiat because my soil is getting better from all the compost i put in it each year or the neem or both , its your call on that one bud. I would highly recommend using neem oil in the recipe i listed above it works

    Bookmark   June 1, 2009 at 10:51PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

According to information I have from the USEPA, the people that license pesticides for sale, contact is one of the ways that Neem Oil products work. Many of the sites of places that sell this product try to tell me that Neem Oil poriducts are non toxic, but those products kill things so if they were non toxic they would not kill things therefore Neem Oil products are not non toxic. Simple because the stuff has low toxicity for humans does not mean it is non toxic to insects. Since this product kills insect X how does it know that insect B is beneficial and it should not kill that insect? That is kind of like saying that the BT's are non toxic even though they kill certain insects.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2009 at 6:37AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
the_gurgler(DFW TX 7b Sunset 33)

Using your logic Kim, how would you explain Diatomaceous Earth? It kills insects yet we eat it in our grains just about every day. Wouldn't that be non-toxic?

My point is that the mechanism of how an insecticide is effective is relevant. Depending on how it kills, it may or may not affect other non-target organisms.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2009 at 10:48AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

this is an excerpt from wikipedia on neem oit the whole thing can be found here. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neem_oil

Formulations made of Neem oil also find wide usage as a bio-pesticide for organic farming, as it "repels" a wide variety of pests including the mealy bug, beet armyworm, aphids, the cabbage worm, thrips, whiteflies, mites, fungus gnats, beetles, moth larvae, mushroom flies, leafminers, caterpillers, locust, nematodes and the Japanese beetle. Neem Oil is not known to be harmful to mammals, birds or some beneficial insects such as earthworms, butterflies, honeybees and ladybugs. It can be used as a household pesticide for ant, bedbug, cockroach, housefly, sand fly, snail, termite and mosquitoes both as repellent and larvicide (Puri 1999). Neem oil also controls black spot, powdery mildew, anthracnose and rust (fungus).

For use as a bio-pesticide, pure Neem oil should be diluted at the rate of 1 teaspoon per quart, or 4 teaspoons per gallon of water (metric: 5.2 millilitres per litre) and used as a foliar spray or used as a soil drench at the rate of 1 liter per square meter of soil (3 ounces per square foot). Adding a surfactant greatly enhances its effectiveness. Ordinary liquid dishwashing soap may be used as a surfactant, added at the rate of 1 tablespoon per gallon.

Please note the quoted word as repels, not KILLS.

I will retract one statement that says the neem is a mild poisen to humans, although it is used as medical remedies for some ailments.

Here is an excpert from eherbal.
Scientific name: Antelaea azadirachta, Azadirachta indica, Melia azadirachta, Meliaceae (family)

Other names: arya veppu, azad dirakht, bevu, margosa tree, nim, nimb, nimba, ravipriya

Medical uses and remedies:

Anthelmintic (parasites and worms)
Drowsiness / somnolence
Erysipelas (a kind of acute Streptococcus infection)
Skin diseases


Capsules - A neem capsule is typically around 250 mg, although it may vary, and dosages may also change, though many are between 1 capsule twice per day, to 2 capsules 3 times per day. See an individual product for its specific details.

Flowers - Up to 5 g of dried flowers taken as powder may be used daily.

Leaves - Take up to ten dried leaves daily.

Oil - Neem oil is extremely strong and should be used in slight doses and diluted properly. Contact a medical professional for proper dosage of the oil form. Neem oil may be used either orally or topically.

Tea - An infusion of up to ten leaves may be taken daily.
plus this is a quote from a very knowlagable person that state it will not harm beneficial insects if they eat the other insects that have comsumed neem.

RE: will neem oil kill beneficial insects Brought to you by
clip this post email this post what is this?
see most clipped and recent clippings

Posted by Kimmsr 4a/5b-MI (My Page) on Fri, Apr 1, 05 at 7:22

Neem is a broad spectrum insecticide which means it will kill anything that ingests it, but it is fairly short term breaking down in 5 to 7 days. There does seem to be an adverse affect on beneficial insects that ingest a target pest that has ingested Neem.

I think neem is a great ( call it what you will) bug repealant, and will save your crops, its organic, and has a very short halflife. I hav e used it for three years with great success except against japanese beattles. although it is suppost to work against those also. I have more beneficial bugs in my garden than ever, and many hop toads also. I would recommend it.

Sorry Kimmsr we will have to agree to diss agree on this one.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2009 at 10:59AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have never seen it claimed anywhere that Neem kills anything on contact. It is effective against many types of insects, including LEAF MINERS!! Here is some accurate information put out by Cornell Cooporative Extension on Neem, how it works and what it is effective against -
Neem oil. Another group of neem products is made from the oil fraction of neem extract. The
active ingredient is generally listed as "clarified hydrophobic extract of neem oil," and is labeled
as a fungicide, insecticide, and/or miticide. Insects and mites susceptible to paraffinic
(petroleum-derived) horticultural oil are likely to be controlled to some extent by neem oil
products. The mode of action is probably similar to other oils, namely membrane or cuticle
Every effort has been made to provide correct, complete, and up-to-date pesticide recommendations. Nevertheless, changes
in pesticide regulations occur constantly, and human errors are still possible. These recommendations are not a substitute for
pesticide labeling. Please read the label before applying any pesticide. The information given herein is supplied with the
understanding that no discrimination is intended and no endorsement by Cornell Cooperative Extension is implied.
This document is a product of the Landscape Horticulture Program Work Team at Cornell University. Primary contributors include Paul
Weston, Department of Entomology and Dan Gilrein, Cornell Cooperative Extension, Suffolk County. Prepared June, 2007
disruption and/or interference with respiration. Note that the activity is distinct from that of
azadiractin-based insecticides.
Other neem products. In addition to products based on azadirachtin or neem oil, there are also
other pesticides derived from neem. One such product, K+ Neem, is an insecticidal soap made
from neem oil, listed on the label as potassium salts of fatty acids. Mode of action (membrane
disruption) and efficacy against arthropods is probably similar to that of other insecticidal soaps
since the product has no measurable quantities of azadirachtin.
What does neem control?
Although neem has a fairly broad spectrum of activity against insects, some insects are more
susceptible than others, and results often vary from pest to pest. Many leaf-feeding larvae are
susceptible to azadirachtin-based products; this list includes lepidopterous larvae (caterpillars), leaffeeding
beetle larvae, and sawflies. [NOTE: we have not seen significant efficacy against viburnum
leaf beetle larvae.] Fluid-feeding insects such as aphids, leafhoppers, and plant bugs are also fairly
well controlled by products based on azadirachtin, as are dipterous leaf miners and fungus gnats.
Adults of a number of insect groups are also responsive to azadirachtin; Japanese beetles and
grasshoppers reportedly avoid neem-treated foliage. Neem-oil products are reportedly effective
against aphids, whiteflies, scale crawlers, and spider mites. Neem products are generally not
effective against mealybugs, weevils, thrips, or adult scales. Use of neem products against pests not
on the label is not advisable because efficacy against these pests has not been determined (or is
inadequate), not to mention the fact that such uses are illegal in New York.

Here is more info from another reliable website -

How Neem Oil Works:
According to the EPA, "Azadirachtin and Clarified Hydrophobic Extract of Neem Oil are derived from the natural oil found in seeds of the neem tree.... When the natural neem oil is removed from the seeds and treated with alcohol, virtually all of the azadirachtin and related substances separate from the oil itself. The remaining oil - without the azadirachtin - is called Clarified Hydrophobic Extract of Neem Oil. Azadirachtin acts in the following ways: It deters certain insects, such as locusts, from feeding and it interferes with the normal life cycle of insects, including feeding, molting, mating, and egg laying."

Neem Oil As Organic Insecticide: Pests Killed or Repelled:
Neem oil kills some pests (after they've eaten leaves sprayed with neem oil), while it repels others with its strong smell. Neem oil is used to control many pests, including whitefly, aphids, Japanese beetles, moth larvae, scale and spider mites. Because it kills mites -- which aren't insects but, instead, related to spiders and ticks -- neem oil is listed as a "miticide." Sprays containing clarified hydrophobic extract of neem oil are also used as fungicides against rust, black spot, mildew, leaf spot, scab, anthracnose, blight and botrytis.

Benefits of Neem Oil for Pest Control:
Besides being an organic insecticide, using neem oil allows you to target pests, specifically, as opposed to beneficial insects (e.g., bees and lady bugs). By definition, "pests" are the insects eating your plants, and neem oil, properly applied, kills an insect only if it ingests the sprayed foliage (bees and lady bugs don't eat plant leaves).

The Garden Guy
Informative articles, ongoing garden journal and
interactive message boards.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2009 at 11:24AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Try planting white icycle radish near squash plants as a companion plant to fend off squash bugs

    Bookmark   June 3, 2009 at 9:13AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Broom corn millet-bulk for consumption?
Would anyone know of a source of bulk broom corn seed...
Clear differences between organic and non-organic food, study fin
"Clear differences between organic and non-organic...
How to get rid of Moles/Voles in my Garden ???
Help !!! They are driving me nuts. I want some of my...
Tips for Starting an Organic Garden
See: http://blogs.usda.gov/2015/03/17/tips-for-starting-an-organic-garden/...
Companion Planting Newbie Needs Help
Hi everyone! This is my first post here and I'm needing...
Sponsored Products
Springstar First Response Bed Bug Monitor - 2 Pack - 1386-0366
$26.99 | Hayneedle
Lil Mo Whimsy 13 Lady Bug Red Rectangular: 5 ft. x 7 ft. Rug
$299.00 | Bellacor
Comfort Dreams Anti-bacterial / Allergy / Dust Mite Silver-treated 10-inch Twin
Insect Shield Dog Bandana
$12.50 | FRONTGATE
Waterproof Tencel Zippered Bed Bug Encasement
$39.99 | zulily
MLFL100LED50-BorW MaxLite LED MaxLED Flood Light, 102 Watts
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™