Tried everything to get rid of Squash Bugs!
I have squash bugs. I've been gardening for 20 years, and I know how to get rid of them, but I was hoping to get a more organic way. I stopped growing squash two years ago because I was sick of the squash bug fight, but I wanted one more time to try it.
I only have the bugs on ONE plant--the Australian blue squash (or blue pumpkin). I have zuchini, yellow squash, gourds, Atlantic Giant pumpkins, three kinds of mini pumpkins, cucumbers, and melons, yet they are only on the blue (my favorite, of course).
I have hand picked for one to two hours a day all season, and sprayed every 7 to 8 days with Green Light Neem, which doesn't kill them on contact, but is supposed to make them stop laying eggs and stop feeding, but apparently it doesn't work like I would like. I have sprayed every plant thoroughly, including stems, base, under leaves, and finally on top of the leaves.
I hand picked fifteen to twenty egg groupings and four to six adults a day for the last week of June, when they first appeared. It did go down every week, to about 10 to 12 groupings of eggs and two to three adults a day the second week of the squash bug war, then down to one or two adults and 5 to 8 egg groupings the third week. Last week it was down to zero adults (that I could find) and one or two egg groupings a day.
This week, the plant started wilting like crazy all day and plumping out in the evening, even though the ground was wet. It has been a bad summer for heat, but I am sure this is from the bugs, because none of the other curcurbits are doing it. I tried watering extra, but that only made some of the baby pumpkins rot. Sunday and Monday I couldn't find any squash bug sightings. Then I found a few baby squash bugs yesterday. Today I found 10 to 12 egg groupings again!
I have a board on the groubnd in between the vines, and have not found a single adult under it. I haven't found any adults for two weeks on the plant anywhere, morning, noon, or evening. How can I catch them or kill them? I really, really want those blue squash! They are so tasty, and last all winter. Should I break down and spray a harsh chemical?