Killing squash bugs - organic and hot :-)

dancinglemons(7B VA)October 6, 2010

Hello all,

Today I discovered a unique way to get rid of the squash bugs - no chemicals needed. No, I am not talking about flicking them into a pail of water. I purchased a long "grill" propane lighter at the $1 store. It puts out a flame that can be adjusted 1-inch to about 2-inches in length. I decided to test it on a few clumps of the squash bug eggs currently on my dying squash vines. It works great! The flame puts a hole about the size of a nickel in the squash leaf but the leaf does not burn. The squash bug eggs????? Vaporized!!! I will be using this method in 2011. I grow on tall trellis so it is relatively easy to see the clumps of eggs. I do recommend keeping a large squirt bottle with water -- keep it close to your plants - just in case.

DL

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northerner_on(Z5A ONCanada)

Hi DL: Thanks for the info. I have a few of those grill lighters left over from a year ago when our 'old' grill needed them. I live in Ontario and had never seen squash bugs until I planted some cucumber plants from 'another province'. It succumbed and I was puzzled, until the sender of the plants told me what it was. That was two years ago. Now just about every cucurbit I grow (zucchini, butternut squash, gourds, cukes) has this horrible pest. My solution for the cukes was to continue to grow plants and plant them continually through the season. The butternut seemed to stand up to them pretty well and did the gourds, but the zucchini really suffered. I tried squishing them in my fingers but your method sounds very good. Only problem, what do the eggs look like? I have never seen them. If you have a pic. I would appreciate it. Thanks.
N.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2010 at 2:22AM
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dancinglemons(7B VA)

N,

I will try to get a link to some squash bug eggs (photo) and post it here. I tried this because I was totally over run with those monsters. When I pulled my vines down a short while ago there were only a few left but that was only because I sprayed the vines with really strong spray. I have also come up with another method. DH suggested that he turn over the soil every week and blast it with a torch. Our raised bed is only 4 feet by 4 feet so will be easy to torch. DH thinks this will kill any squash bugs that may be hiding in the dirt. We are also going to put some DE (Diatomaceous Earth) down to kill any bugs we may miss. Hopefully this will give us a head start in the spring before the monsters return.

I will get those photos soon. The link below is about DE.

Here is a link that might be useful: Diatomaceous Earth info

    Bookmark   October 19, 2010 at 4:06PM
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eaglesgarden(6b - se PA)

Here is a link that has squash bug pictures in all stages of development.

I hate those guys!!! I've never had them give my zucchini any trouble, but they have decimated (actually much worse than *only* 10% lost) my pumpkins several times.

Here is a link that might be useful: Squash bug eggs

    Bookmark   December 1, 2010 at 6:59PM
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MLGardens

I suggest using Diatomaceous Earth applied using a leaf blower.. it works like a charm.

Here is a link that might be useful: @MLGardens on twitter

    Bookmark   July 24, 2012 at 10:40AM
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