Susan 1; Squash Bugs 0

susanlynne48(OKC7a)July 24, 2012

This will probably be an ongoing battle, huh? I was out checking over the squash plants and decided to check....again.....for eggs on the undersides of leaves. VOILA! There they were - the vicious little things! Some on 2 leaves and some on a stem, where the petiole joins the leaf stem. Needless to say, they are no longer there.

I check the remaining plants, but found none on the smaller ones - just the big one.

Hurrah for today! I will be continuing to check...... Call me Sherlock...


Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

susan Revenge is sweet, innit? Let's hope there aren't a hole lot more. Congratulations!


    Bookmark   July 24, 2012 at 9:03PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Good for you. I wasn't diligent enough and the bugs won--almost a month ago. We did get some squash before the plants died, and then I dusted the bugs with Sevin so they wouldn't travel to the cucumbers.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2012 at 10:02PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Grrrr - bad little bugs! I found eggs again this morning! Once again, I checked all the plants, and they were only on the big one. Okay, them is fightin' actions! Let the battle begin.............

I have gotten NO squash yet. This is my second planting. The first planting succumbed to mildew, a battle I lost.


P.S. Vegetable gardening is not for sissies!

P.S.S. I may lose yet. The city water main running along my front yard busted and my yard is taking in a lot of water. Some of the plants can handle it, but I'm not sure if the squash can.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2012 at 9:19AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Okiedawn OK Zone 7

Sherlock Susan,

Hooray for the success in finding and destroying the squash bug eggs. You're right--it likely will be an ongoing battle.

I am losing my summer squash plants right and left now, likely to the SVBs that showed up a week or two ago. So far, they've gone after the older plants and haven't touched the newest ones. I had too many plants to scout individually (32 plants at one point) with all the time I was spending on canning. That's why I planted so many plants---so that I could get a huge harvest and freeze a bunch before the SVBs and squash bugs showed up.

I might sow seeds for a few yellow summer squash today, and then put a floating row cover over that area. That way, by the time the pests get my 4 newest and so-far-untouched yellow squash plants, I'll have new plants about the right size to start producing.

It is a never-ending battle some years and sometimes there's not really any battle at all. I'm sort of amazed that squash plants I put into the ground in March were able to produce until late July. Often the squash bugs get them in early June.

I agree, gardening is not for sissies. You have to be really persistent and determined and willing to sow succession crops for another "chance" at a good harvest.

Oh no! Horrid news about the water main. I don't know if the squash can handle the water either. Doesn't your soil drain pretty well though? That might save your plants.


    Bookmark   July 25, 2012 at 10:06AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Squash bugs killed my only hill of watermelon, this year. Didn't even see them until it was too late. But when I dumped a bucket of water on the dying plant, a bunch of them surfaced. I killed them and repeated the process several times, over the course of a couple of days, until no more appeared.

The squash are in another garden, on the other side of our place. Wouldn't you know? We haven't seen a squash bug on them. However, several weeks ago, while inspecting the squash, I turned over a leaf and found a big patch of eggs. I destroyed them, and up till now, haven't seen more.

I just heard that if one scatters some catip stems and leaves around the base of a squash plant, it will keep squash bugs away. Next year, I'll grow catnip and try this.

Tahlequah, OK

    Bookmark   July 25, 2012 at 10:14AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Susan, Your so right about "Gardening Not For Sissys" Its a constant battle !! I lost one spot where I had 5 squash plants but did get several good ones off them before they conked out - the other row was looking soooo great ,I picked eggs and bugs faithfully and today went out there and that row is covered with sparkly honey dew EVERY plant !!! geeeesh ! Is there any thing to be done to save those squash plants? I check the web but Oklahoma gardening is usually the BEST place to find out what ever I need about my garden.
Rita in Washita

    Bookmark   July 25, 2012 at 11:41AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I'm sure Dawn or Carol or someone will be in to advise you on that issue, Rita. I hope you can save them. I feel like I've been pretty lucky with everything except the Spider Mites on the tomatos. They are quickly going downhill.

I may just replant some yellow, white, and zucchini squash seeds, Dawn, if the water damage is too severe for the plants to handle. Well, I would say they have "decent" drainage. But my front yard area is small, the squash garden smaller, and the water is rapidly soaking the bed. Since the beds are basically "contained" by the street, driveways, and sidewalk on all 4 sides, there is nowhere for the water to drain except into the street and driveways, which the overflow is doing, but the beds are being continually fed by the main break right now. I don't think it is going to dry out very fast. If the City had gotten here today to repair it and turned off the water, I would say fairly good chance of survival. Since it appears it will now be tomorrow, it's a guessing game. BTW, I amended the soil "somewhat", with manure and composted pine bark fines, but it needs more attention in the form of compost and sand. So, no, the soil is not as great as I would like it to be, too much clay.

George, I have a little patch of Catnip I grow for the "boys".......,my cats. I will try the suggestion passed on to you and see what happens.

Thanks everyone for the commiseration.


    Bookmark   July 25, 2012 at 1:34PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Okiedawn OK Zone 7

Rita, First, find the source of the honeydew. Normally it is aphids. Make sure the plants themselves are infested with whatever is spreading the honeydew. Check the undersides of your leaves for aphids or anything else. If there's nothing on the plants from which honeydew would come, then look at taller plants nearby. A lot of people have had aphids on pecan trees shedding honeydew not only on the pecan foliage but on anything underneath or beside the pecan trees.

It is tricky to use anything like insecticidal soap or neem in these hot temperatures, but if you choose to use one of those options, spray after the sun has gone down and it has cooled off in the evening. I'd test spray one leaf and wait 24 hours and check for damage. Then, if there isn't any damage, I'd spray the rest of the plants with the same material in the same concentration in the same cool, shaded, evening conditions.

You also could use a general pesticide. A good organic one would be spinosad. There are many chemical ones, and I won't recommend one because I don't use them so really don't have an opinion of which ones work best.

If I had honeydew from aphids and found the aphids in the garden, I'd likely try to find lady bugs, purchase them, and release them in the cool of the evening. I'd spray sugar water on the plants I wanted them to visit. Spraying sugar water on the plants encourages lady bugs to stick around and work instead of flying away looking for their favorite food.

I grow catnip every year, and I have big patches right by both my squash beds. I've done it for years. Some years I have no squash pests, some years I have none. I have no idea if the catnip makes a difference. What I have noticed, though, is that if I let it go to bloom, it attracts beneficial insects like crazy and perhaps they prey upon the squash pests. Susan, because you garden for butterflies, you likely would not want to let your catnip bloom. It attracts predatory wasps that prey upon caterpillars.


    Bookmark   July 25, 2012 at 2:17PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Dawn, I do grow it, and so far, it hasn't really made a difference in the numbers parasitized or not. Crossing my fingers.......


    Bookmark   July 25, 2012 at 2:28PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I am having major squash bug damage this year. I pick off probably a hundred eggs a day and over the past three days have been finding the babies hatching and killing those. it's quite a battle. About to sevin dust them as they are on my pumpkin which I am just growing for pretty decor in September. I will try catnip next year. I also hear planting tansy helps but I didn't do that either. Learning a little more about this whole process every year!

    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 10:11AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Okiedawn OK Zone 7

Be careful with Tansy because it can be a garden thug. The first year I planted it here I loved it because it was so pretty. It did get big and gangly and invade the space of plants near it, but I just kept whacking it back short, and then it would regrow like mad, so I had an endless summer of trying to keep two plants contained by whacking them back really hard.

The following year, I dug them up and moved them in early spring to a location just outside the garden fence. It rewarded me by making a thousand babies. I hand-pulled tansy seedlings for years. After several years of trying to keep a handful of tansy plants from taking over our whole 14.4 acres, I removed them all and I have no regrets. There's not a huge number of plants that are invasive in my dense, slowly-draining red clay soil, but tansy is one of them. Be sure you really, really want it and won't mind having to deal with its huge size (mine got about 4' tall and 3' wide) and its propensity to reseed heavily.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 10:30AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
wantonamara Z8 CenTex

I submit to the squash bug. My fingers are orange from picking them off and flinging them into a bucket of soapy water. Every where I turn, there are more of them in all stages of development. They have a very strange smell when found in numbers . Sweet, almost nice but not. My 8'trombetta squash is a mass of them. I was busy working on a deadline and some how they knew it was the perfecy time to launch their attack.

I would like to plant a second crop but I think that maybe I should not. My garden is a small garden.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2012 at 6:09PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Okiedawn OK Zone 7

Mara, I think you could plant a second crop if you could keep it under a floating row cover for a few weeks until it outgrows the row cover. That's how I'm raising my southern peas and bush beans for a fall harvest.

Maybe by the time the new planting was outgrowing the floating row cover, the squash bug population would be on the decline or maybe would have moved on to something else.

It sounds like you're got enough rain to have a garden this year. What a huge improvement over last year!


    Bookmark   July 28, 2012 at 7:13PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
wantonamara Z8 CenTex

Yes I have a total of 19" so far this year and we have barely cracked a hundred a couple of times. looks like 100 on thursday. It is green right now and my rain water tanks are 95% full. We are seeing germination of wildflowers every where. Some plants that haven't grown in 10 years are popping up. It has been a bad year for invasive. The fires left bare ground and constant wind of last year brought in lots of Star thistle and b@stard weed. What a difference a year makes. Last year we had fires all around us. I had walked away from my garden. We were trucking in water because our rain tanks were empty. I know y'all are suffering up there for two summers now. It has got to be tough. I can commiserate. I know there are areas in west kansas and the the Pan HandleS of both states that have been in it for three years . My heart goes out to them.

I dusted the area of the garden with diatomaceous earth .I have to take up the cardboard that is between my raised beds and burn it and spray the cracks of the boards and remove the old straw and leaf trash. generally, clean up my act and minimize hiding places. I could squeeze some diatomaceous earth or sevin in there. Tomorrow I burn. There seems to be a lot of bugs in the garden. Ants and aphids. I did get gobs of squash this year before the invasion.. The tomatoes are just now playing out. I cut the indeterminate maters back to 3 feet. It has been a great year for them. Now if I can keep them alive till fall. I get tired of watering and I am in a hard work phase where When I am not working , I want to sit on my derriere.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2012 at 12:52AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Okiedawn OK Zone 7

Wow! What a difference a year makes. I knew things were better than down because I have family in Fort Worth and near Stephenville, but I didn't realize it had been so much better near you. That is great news.

We had a great wildflower here for the flowers that germinate in autumn but once late May arrived, anything that was still in bloom pretty much shriveled. We too saw germination of all sorts of long-dormant weed seed and I guess that's the price we pay for having some rain fall in the autumn and winter.

Bugs are at epidemic levels here. Today I saw leaf-footed bugs on tomato plants, but the plants already have had to deal with spider mites, grasshoppers by the gazillions, stink bugs and blister what's a few leaf-footed bugs? (If I don't laugh about it, I'll want to cry.)

We had a great tomato year too and the pepper year has been almost as good, as was the squash.

I always want to sit inside too when it is this hot. It is just too miserable out there. Our heat index hit 109 yesterday and when I went out in the evening to feed and water the animals, the temperature was still over 100 and so was the heat index, but just barely....and 100 felt pretty good. Clearly being outside in the 109 degree heat index (actual temp at that point was 106,I think) earlier in the day had addled my brain. When you start thinking that 100 degrees feels cool, you've been out in the sun too long.

This year I am in the very tiny portion of Oklahoma that has been staying just barely out of drought, and mostly right at or right below "Abnormally Dry" on the KBDI map, so I cannot complain. We're still hot though. Most of our state is in horrible drought condition, particularly in northern and eastern areas where the rain never really fell much at all this year.

Good luck burning tomorrow. After last year, it must seem odd to be allowed to burn stuff again.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2012 at 11:05AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
wantonamara Z8 CenTex

Yes it is. I am in Moderate drought now but our June was very dry (no rain at all ) and hot and our soil dried up extremely quickly and the grass turned brown and we were still in severe drought headed for extreme. So drought will come on quickly when it comes. July, against historical norms, was wet and cool and has bought us a respite for the time being. We are having a second spring. Fragrant mimosa and thelasperma and other tougher wildflowers are putting on a second show. Especially a low tiny white flowers on loose flowered branched upper portions that grow in mass and create a white haze in the fields.NOt in wildflower book. I have never seen it in such a mass showing before. I appologize for being off topic.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2012 at 12:43PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
2015 Spring Fling Anyone?
It must be so. I've reserved a porta-potty and marked...
Pinching growing tips on tomato seedlings?
Every spring usually after I've transplanted my tomatoes,...
Cross pollination of mixed packet of flower seeds?
If I have a packet of mixed carnations, for example,...
Lisa, did you see: Work starts to protect monarch butterflies
Their bright orange and black wings are a familiar...
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™