Squash Bug

bizydiggin(7 OKC)June 25, 2007

I found HUNDREDS of these little buggers eggs on my pumpkin leaves today. No evidence that the bug itself had been there except for the eggs. Now that I have ID the eggs, I plan to go out and squish all of them. We are leaving wednesday for almost 2 weeks. Is there anything that I can apply (besides SEVIN) that wil help protect my veggies during our absense? Soap spray???

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Okiedawn OK Zone 7

Courtney,

Squash bugs are incredibly hard to control. If you destroy all the eggs you find, you might have a chance. Keep in mind, though, that sometimes the squash bugs spread disease, and your plants may have become infected with the disease at or around the same time the eggs were laid. Lay down a board or shingle in your garden ASAP and the bugs should congregate under it at night for safety. In the morning, lift the board and squash them all. Repeat as often as you can.

About all that has ever worked for me is to find the bugs and eggs, handpick daily and destroy them, and to be hypervigilant and watch for more to show up. Since you are going out of town for almost 2 weeks, that is going to be impossible to do.

The best organic control is sabadilla if it is still commercially available. Sevin and other synthetic pesticides are labeled for use against squash bugs, but I don't know that they are very effective. All pesticides, both organic and synthetic, are most effective on squash bugs when they are in the very small newly-hatched nympth stage, and are much less effective on full-sized adults.

Some years I see some squash bugs but don't see much damage or disease vectored by them. Other years they just wipe out the plants. I guess some years you're lucky, and some years not.

If you have extra squash seeds, you might want to either plant them in the ground before you leave, and hope they sprout in a few days and start growing replacement plants, or be prepared to plant the seeds when you return. With new plants to replace the ones you'll likely lose while you're away, you'll have lots of time to get more squash later this summer.

And, maybe you'll get lucky and some of the good predator bugs, like tachinid flies, that prey upon squash bugs will find your bugs and wipe them out for you.

Dawn

    Bookmark   June 25, 2007 at 6:07PM
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bizydiggin(7 OKC)

Well, in between the downpours of rain today I managed to get all of the eggs squished. I didn't see any of the Tachnid flies that you mentioned, nor did I see anymore adult Squash Bugs. YEAH! There were lots of weird looking green spiders. They had really long front legs and shorter hind legs. I have no idea what they are, but I'm hoping that they are like most spiders and that they eat bugs. I think I got most of the eggs before they hatched. One leaf I turned over had 5-10 little bitty squash bugs on it, so I squished them too.

During the downpours, I have managed to get all the old baby clothes washed and packed for a friend in NE that just had a baby. I got the kitchen moped and all of carpet vacuumed. Now al I have to do is pack up myself and my little man and then I'm ready to head North.

Well, I seem to have more as0sistance typing than usual. The little guy i.s sitting here pching buttons for me. LOL! I think he's trying to get my attention.
0 0

.Hope it dries out down here ! ~ Talk to you all in a couple weeks!!

Happy 4th of July!

Courtney

    Bookmark   June 26, 2007 at 2:27PM
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Okiedawn OK Zone 7

Courtney,

Have a good time!

Dawn

    Bookmark   June 26, 2007 at 2:54PM
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susanlynne48(OKC7a)

Tachnid flies - arghhhhhhhh - the bane of butterfly and moth gardening. And, squash bugs - EWWWWWWWWWW. I'd rather see snakes that squash bugs, those things are so ugly. I had a pumpkin one year (volunteer from Halloween), and it got SBs reallllllllllly bad. I couldn't stand to mess with the bugs, so I just pulled the whole thing out, stuff it in a trash bag, and threw it in the garbage.

Those things really give me the crawlies!

Susan

    Bookmark   June 26, 2007 at 9:52PM
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Okiedawn OK Zone 7

Susan,

I know tachnid flies are hard on butterflies and moths, but they are very useful in controlling some pests that are very damaging to the home landscape and vegetable garden. They occur naturally here, and I have never had to purchase and release any.

I hate squash bugs too. They are hard to kill and are so destructive, but I'd rather encounter them than encounter a venomous snake any day.

We have seen a couple of squash bugs here recently, but that's not too bad considering I have a huge pumpkin and winter squash patch. So far the squash bugs have not done any noticeable damage.

With all the rain we're having, I think it is likely that foliar/fungal disease or bacterial wilt will wipe out the winter squash and pumpkins long before the bugs do!

Dawn

Dawn

    Bookmark   June 27, 2007 at 9:03AM
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bizydiggin(7 OKC)

Good News! We made it home yesterday evening (had a great time, played golf EVERYDAY!) First thing I checked on was the pumpkins and watermelons... no sign of any more squash bugs. I had picked off all of the eggs with an old steak knife and sqished them. Evidentally that did the trick... for now. I'll keep my eyes peeled and fingers crossed and hopefully they won't find their way to my garden again.

Dawn, you said that squash bugs are disease spreaders, the pumpkin plant that I found the eggs on seems to be doinf okay. I swear it grew six feet in the week we were gone!

Everything seems to be doing really well. I'm guessing that we got lots of rain from some of the posts on the forum. My garden seems to be loving it. I harvested 12 cucumbers today that were the size of my forearm. Other than using them for making pickles, I have no idea why I planted them. No one in the house likes cucumbers. LOL!! I'm sure DH will find some takers for them at work though :)

Hope everyone is doing okay.

Courtney

    Bookmark   July 6, 2007 at 11:05PM
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Okiedawn OK Zone 7

Hi Courtney,

Welcome home. I can't tell you how much rain OKC got while you were on vacation, but we received, and are still receiving, tons of it here in southern Oklahoma.

I am glad you got to the squash bugs before they were able to do much harm, if any, to your plants.

Our ancient computer crashed so I haven't been online for a couple of days. I am using my son's laptop which is WAY too fancy for me! I think we'll be buying a new computer during the next few days, but until then, I may not be around much.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Dawn

    Bookmark   July 7, 2007 at 8:59AM
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