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Help! Squash bugs are here!

Posted by greenveggielover (My Page) on
Mon, May 26, 14 at 22:55

Hi Everyone---- I'm writing in desperation to see if anyone has any solution for squash bugs. Seems like everyone in the world can grow zucchini except me. Every year as soon as my plants get ready to start producing zucchinis, the squash bugs move in, and after a week or so of vainly attempting to hand pick the rotten things, I end up giving up and pulling it all out. Today I saw the first squash bug on my zucchini rampicante. Does anyone know of anything that will help?
Flis


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Help! Squash bugs are here!

Flis, I feel you pain. I've lost my share of squash to squash bugs. I believe Dawn uses row covers. I purchased material for that, and haven't gotten 'round to using it. Last year the squash bugs went after my Old Timey Cornfield Pumpkins, which are pretty resilient. But little by little the bugs were winning (the squash hadn't started vining and were small & not growing). When I figured it out I went out and poured a bucket of water on each hill of squash. That brought the bugs up where I could see them. Each day, for almost a week, I repeated this, sometimes more than once a day. Finally, I had gotten ahead of them. My squash began to thrive.

That's all I can really say. The earlier you get on it, the easier it is.

This year, for some reason, we have a lot fewer insect pests. I suppose the hard winter has something to do with it.

George
Tahlequah, OK


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RE: Help! Squash bugs are here!

That sounds like a good tip, George - thanks! I will give it a try.


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RE: Help! Squash bugs are here!

Squirt a good swig of dishsoap in a spray bottle, and fill it up with water. go spray the plants. the soap will kill reportedly kill them. i think there is a youtube video out there showing that. my hi maintenance row is zucchini; i'll put sevin out one more time after the rain shuts off, and then i'll go to dishsoap and washing the plants and leaf undersides with that solution. i used this last year and did good with it. has to be done often enough to stay ahead of them. i don't like to find more that three squash bugs, then i feel like i'm winning. i think the soapy water also helps get them to crawl out where they are easier to spot, more accessible. makes killing them easier.


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RE: Help! Squash bugs are here!

If your zucchini rampicante is the same as zucchetta (and I think it is), if you can control them right now, you will be good.

I can't grow any kind of squash, but zucchetta did fine without any bug battles on my part.


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RE: Help! Squash bugs are here!

This post made me paranoid. I went out and checked my seedlings today. haha I'm not looking forward to the arrival of the squash bugs. I know it's only a matter of time.


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RE: Help! Squash bugs are here!

OK, I am now armed with my buckets of water and my spray bottle of diluted dish soap -- I am ready! Bring on the squash bugs and let the battle begin!


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RE: Help! Squash bugs are here!

Remember, if you use Sevin, not to spray during morning daylight, when bees are working the flowers. Sevin is terrible, awful and no good on bees. They take it home and it kills the hive.

George


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RE: Help! Squash bugs are here!

Don't worry George, I won't use it at all-- I'd rather completely lose the zucchini than spray anything toxic.


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RE: Help! Squash bugs are here!

I use a multipronged approach to squash bugs. I do everything I can to discourage and prevent them but know that there will be some anyway, so remain as vigilant as possible in order to keep the population under control. If you lose control and have a widespread infestation it is much harder to defeat them.

The first thing to do is to scrupulously clean up and dispose of all the old squash plants when they are done producing.

Some people pull them out as soon as they are done producing and bag them up for the trash or burn them if they are in a rural area where burning brush is allowed. Others leave them until the end of the season. I generally pull out the squash plants in the ground when they're done producing and dispose of them just so I can plant a succession crop of something else in that spot. However, if I have one that is slowly dying but isn't in the way and I can just let it sit there, then I will. I'll use it as a trap for squash bugs. Any that are still around will go to it (it will be stressed because it is sick and stressed plants are more attractive to pests) and I will check it daily and kill the squash bugs I find. I also check the backs of the leaves daily and remove and dispose of any squash bug eggs I find there. At the end of the season I remove all the dead plants, and I don't compost them. I bag them up for the trash or, if we aren't under a burn ban, I burn them. Then, if I had any mulch underneath the squash plants (and sometimes I don't because it just gives squash bugs a place to hide), I rake it up and get rid of it too. You don't want to leave any bugs hiding in that mulch or in the dead foliage of the spent plants a place to overwinter.

I usually let the chickens go into the fenced garden where squash grew once all the warm season crops are out so they can dig and scratch and hunt down any surviving pests or pest eggs. If I have cool-season crops growing for fall, I can protect those plants from the chickens by tossing bird netting over the plants for the day. My chickens won't mess with trying to get underneath bird netting if there is an adjacent area that is free and clear and open for them to patrol for pests. Our chickens view a trip into the garden in late autumn or early winter as the poultry equivalent of a trip to Disneyland.

In the spring, I sow buckwheat close to where I eventually will grow squash. The buckwheat grows quickly and blooms just a few weeks after sprouting, attracting beneficial insects that will prey upon squash bugs, squash vine borers and their eggs. The beneficial insects eventually would arrive anyway, but having the buckwheat in bloom and attracting them before I even sow squash seeds insures there will be lots of beneficials. This year I have had beneficial wasps and tachinid flies all over the garden for weeks now. My buckwheat is already done. It bloomed fast this year, but by the time I was cutting it down to replace it with a beneficial bug blend of insectary seeds, we had lots of other flowers blooming that they like. Beneficial insects will help a lot, but they are just part of the strategy.

I rotate my squash plantings each year, attempting to plant them as far away as possible from the spot where I grew them last year. When you grow them in the same spot every year, pests and diseases build up in that spot. I don't worry about that so much with any squash from the C. moschata family since they are pretty tough and withstand a lot of pest pressure, but I am careful to do it with squash from the C. pepo, C. maxima, etc. families.

I also like to sow seeds of rat-tailed radish in the area where I'll grow squash. I usually plant them a month or more before the squash will be planted. They seem to help repel squash plant pests. Note: rat-tail radishes get huge and take up a lot of space so plan for that when using them. They also bloom, and the blooms attract beneficial insects. You can harvest the seed pods and use them in stir-fries.

Some years I plant a trap plant of hubbard squash, either golden hubbard or blue, a month or so before I will plant my main-season squash plants and I plant it as far away from where my main crop will grow as I can. The hubbards are squash bug and SVB magnets. If you plant them first, the pests generally will hit them first and that gives you a chance to kill all the pests you can without having to repeatedly spray anything on your "real" squash plants. You shouldn't expect to harvest any hubbard squash because the pests are going to kill them, but that's their role---to be the sacrificial lamb.

When planting squash plants, I always plant them in good soil that has had compost added within the last few weeks. Healthier plants are not as attractive to pests and have better disease tolerance.

I plant at the right time, meaning after the soil is warm. If you plant too early, they struggle in cold soil and cool nighttime temperatures, leaving them stressed. Stressed plants attract pests.

Although I normally mulch everything, I tend to either mulch the squash plants lightly or not at all because mulch just gives pests a place to hide. It kind of depends on the pest pressure in any given year, though. If it is really extremely dry and hot, I mulch anyway, or at least I start adding mulch as the temperatures heat up and the rain stops falling.

With anything in the C. moschata family, I don't use row covers because they aren't necessary. I've never yet had anything kill those plants. With the run of the mill summer squash and zuchinni plants, I do cover with row covers until they start to bloom. Once they start blooming, I usually uncover them anyhow and leave them uncovered. By then, the plants are big enough to withstand a lot of pest pressure for a while at least. But, because we have an endless onslaught of squash bugs and SVBs in the summer, I immediately set up the hoops someplace else in the garden and sow a succession crop of seeds there and then promptly put the row covers over the hoops. Please note that with floating row cover, you have to make sure it is fastened down tightly to the ground so the pests cannot creep underneath it. You also want your hoops tall enough that there is free air space between the tops of your plants and your row cover. In our hot summer weather, you can cook your plants, even underneath lightweight floating row cover, once the temperatures crank up in the summer months. Some people use tulle netting instead of floating row cover for this reason. Another issue with the very lightweight row cover used in summer to exclude insects is that it is very thin and lightweight and tears very easy in our summer winds, and that is why I have it over hoops. If I let it float, it tears up pretty quickly in strong wind. You also can get some heat buildup underneath the row cover, and that's why I usually uncover the plants once they start blooming instead of leaving them covered up and going through the whole hand-pollinating process.

Once the plants are up and growing, from the time they are tiny seedlings, I try to check the back of the foliage every day for both squash bug and squash vine borer eggs, especially early in the season. If you can catch those eggs and destroy them before they hatch, you save yourself a world of trouble.

I walk through the garden every day (generally in the early morning hours) with a bowl of soapy water and hand pick and drown all undesirable pests, including squash bugs. If I find an adult squash bug on a plant, I immediately check every leaf because there will be eggs there most of the time....even if I checked the plants and removed eggs the previous day. If I have missed eggs and see a lot of young nymphs, I generally spray them with a bottle of insecticidal soap I carry with me, or sometimes with neem or Pyganic. I just spray the pests themselves. I either use a commercial insecticidal soap or sometimes a home-made version using one of Dr. Bronner's liquid castile soaps, which are vegetable based. I usually have both Dr. Bronner's peppermint and lavender soaps on hand, so use whichever one I want to be smelling all week. The scent of lavender in the garden is delightful, and the scent of pepperming can confuse ants and make it hard for them to follow their ant trails. Be sure you use a soap and not a detergent because detergent is more harsh and can damage the leaves in hot weather. Often, people mistakely use a detergent instead of a soap and damage or kill their plants. Also, remember to dilute soap properly if you are mixing up your own soap spray. It might be tempting to make a soap spray twice as strong as what is recommended for homemade formulas, but remember that soap spray at higher concentrations is a herbicide and you don't want to kill your plants.

If I have been away from the garden and the squash bugs or them nymphs or out of control, I take a handheld vacuum out to the garden and vacuum them up. Then I hold the vaccum right over a bucket of soapy water and dump them into it, quickly stirring them in with a stick so they get coated with soapy water before they can get away. I think the vacuuming might be one reason that some people look at me funny when they drive by the garden while I'm doing it.

Research has shown that, unfortunately, squash bugs and squash vine borers prefer some of the squash types that we humans most love to grow, including pumpkins, yellow straightneck and crookneck squash and zucchini. I still grow yellow squash and zukes, but don't waste my time growing standard pumpkins any more. I was able to grow them for 7 or 8 years before the squash pests found our garden, so I just enjoyed it while it lasted.

I mostly grow C. moschata types of squash nowadays because they resist pest damage and disease so well, but do like growing both zucchini and yellow crookneck or straightneck as well. I finally quit growing the variety Cocozelle, which was my favorite, because it is a pest magnet. I grow Raven zucchini instead of Cocozelle most years. In a typical year I'll grow 4 to 6 varieties of C. moschata so I still have the diversity and variety I crave without having to fight SVBs and squash bugs for every single plant.

In my dream garden I'd have a big hoophouse just for growing pumpkins and squash, only it would be covered with netting or screening (like a screened porch) to exclude the insects.

Oddly, we have an occasional year with no squash bugs and no squash vine borers. I've never been able to figure out why. We didn't have either of them in 2011, and didn't have many in 2012. Last year we had a lot of squash bugs, and they mostly showed up on the Seminole pumpkins growing in the brand new back garden which was planted for the first time last year. The soil wasn't improved any before planting, and I suspect that is why the plants there were more attractive to squash bugs. I grow Seminole on the fence, which makes it really easy to find the pests on the leaves. I probably found 12 or 15 squash bugs, all adults, in a 2-week period, but removed all the eggs before they hatched. For my garden, 12-15 squash bugs is a lot. I didn't have any after that.

I also never, ever under any condition spray a broad-spectrum pesticide on our plants. I might spray one specific plant that has a problem, but I won't spray the whole garden. I have spent 15 years encouraging the beneficial insects and doing everything I can to build up a good population of them. They will take care of 90% of my pest problems for me in a good year when there is a plentiful population of beneficials. This year, I have had wheel bugs and spined soldier bugs showing up as early as early May, which is very early considering we still were down around freezing the first week in May. I'm always thrilled to see them here. I always grow lots of plants with tiny flowers (yarrow, sweet alyssum, dill, fennel, cilantro, tansy, etc.) because they are especially attractive to many kinds of beneficial insects. I also let the native carrot plants bloom near the garden for the same reason.

I haven't found any squash bugs or their eggs yet, but killed a squash vine borer moth in the garden on Sunday.


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RE: Help! Squash bugs are here!

Dawn, thanks so much for all the ideas to help with the squash bug problem. You've given me plenty to think about and work on!

It's funny, but I do have a big (16' x 30') hoophouse with shadecloth instead of plastic on it -- what you say you'd like in your ideal garden! (AND I LOVE IT!!!) The problem is that it is where most of my gardening takes place, and I always seem to have it way too full of tomatoes, etc. to have much room for squash to spread out in. But I'm starting some in there now, in the spots where broccoli and lettuce are opening up.
Flis


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RE: Help! Squash bugs are here!

Flis, You're welcome. I kinda wanted to give you the whole integrated approach from start to finish, because that is the way I have had the most success---battling them at every step of the way from the beginning of the garden season with soil prep and planting all the way to after the end of the season with garden cleanup.

I do have to add that in a crazy hot and crazy dry summer when we are having tons of wildfires, the squash bugs are the least of my worries because I don't have time to squish eggs, hand-pick or vacuum bugs, etc. In a less busy year, I win the squash pest war. In a busy year, they usually win.

My greenhouse is a hoophouse. It is 12' x 24' and barely holds all my flats of seedlings in the late winter/early spring. It has Aluminet 50% shade cloth on the outside of the greenhouse plastic. I love my greenhouse, but don't want to take the greenhouse plastic off every year in order to use it like a shadehouse. Greenhouse plastic gets pretty brittle and mine is on probably its 4th or 5th year, so I think if we tried to remove it, it would break and then we'd have to buy new plastic (which we'll still have to do one of these days anyway). What I really want is to build a second one to use as a netting-covered growing area where I can grow the crops that are most vulnerable to hard-to-control pests. It is on my "one of these days" list. We'll eventually get around to doing it

I always have too many tomatoes every single place in the garden, so I can relate. I could grow so much more if I wasn't endlessly obsessed with growing tomatoes in a huge array of sizes, shapes, colors and flavors.

Today I was working in the garden and walked past what I thought was a stink bug, which for me is a more troublesome pest that squash bugs. I spun around and went right back to where I had seen it and crouched down to get a good look at it. To my relief, it was a spined soldier bug. Earlier I had seen a harlequin bug on an asparagus plant, but when I made my way over to it, I discovered a young wheel bug had that harlequin bug under control. A little later I saw another harlequin bug, also on an asparagus plant, but when I was about to pluck it off the plant, I saw a spider was working on that one. I love the beneficial insects because they do a lot of my pest control for me. If there is one thing that I really miss about living in the city is that the pest pressure there is so low compared to what it is in a rural area.

I really wouldn't mind having a high tunnel over my whole garden, but my garden is huge and the cost would be staggering.

I cannot grow anything in my greenhouse in summer because it gets too hot in there. In the summer the greenhouse is sort of useless, although snakes seem to like it.....which is one reason I'd rather not go in there at this time of the year. Even with the shadecloth (50% shade cloth), both doors and all 4 vents open, my greenhouse can hit 100 degrees by 8 or 9 am in the summer. That's the price we pay for living in HOtklahoma. Not too long ago a friend asked me why the greenhouse gets so hot in the summer. I gave an honest answer "it is the greenhouse effect" and got a strange look in return. Did I not answer the question correctly? I guess it takes a gardener to understand that I gave a sincere answer, not a pun or a play on words.

Dawn


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RE: Help! Squash bugs are here!

Is your squash c. moschata?


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RE: Help! Squash bugs are here!

We put up my greenhouse in early 2012, after many years of my pleading for one -- mainly as a fortress against the grasshoppers. The stipulation from my husband was that it had to be tall enough that if I "lost interest" in using it for growing vegetables (ha!) he could convert it to a shed for storing hay or something. Since I wanted it as a grasshopper defense, it had to have shadecloth instead of plastic. Originally I was hoping that I'd be able to put plastic over the shadecloth every winter, but it is so tall (10' at the eaves,14' at the peak) that I've found it's easier to just cover the plants inside. I have hoops over the beds, and use Agribon 19 row cover, and then plastic over that when it gets to about 25º. It seems like I am forever putting covers on and taking them off....but at least so far, I have managed to keep all kinds of greens, broccoli, beets, etc. going all winter. And in the summer it is wonderful. Although the odd grasshopper does still sneak in, and I have quite a problem with aphids, I guess because I don't have many beneficial insects in there. I do have quite a few ladybugs, but not enough to totally control the aphids when they get going. Anyway, I absolutely love having it. My husband has now resigned himself to the fact that he is not going to be inheriting it for a new hay shed!

Flis


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RE: Help! Squash bugs are here!

Wow. Wheelbugs are the good guys? I have hundreds of those red-butted nymphs on my potatoes. I've seen the Colorado potato bug but have not much damage. Perhaps that's why. That' just cool.


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While watering I found a few squash bugs on my squash plant. Because of this post I knew what to do. I didn't see any squash bug eggs, but some other tiny ones that looked like they might be the squash vine borer. It was hard to scrape those off.


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RE: Help! Squash bugs are here!

Flis, It sounds nice. I bet your husband never, ever gets to use it as a hay shed.

Covering and uncovering gets old. I do it all spring with the frost blankets on cold nights, but the payoff is that we get an early harvest of warm-season crops even when the cold nights stay near freezing and/or frosty into the first week of May, so I think it is worth it.

Bon, Wheelbugs have a voracious appetite and they are the good guys, but.....they will sting or bite a person if they feel backed into a corner, so be careful when working around them. Most people compare the pain to that of a scorpion bite. They are kinda shy and reclusive and just want to do their work in peace---they are not sociable. I give them a wide berth in my garden. I've noticed if I am working near them for a prolonged period, they get nervous and leave. Without wheelbugs, bigeyed bugs, and assassin bugs, it would be hard to garden organically in OK.

Yesterday I saw tiny, newly-hatched preying mantids, so my predator world is now complete, and the herbivore pest insects better watch out because now we have a full complement of predatory, carnivorous insects present and at work.

I have to give the birds, especially the cardinals, credit. I fed them well all winter long and told them I expected their help with insects this summer. Those cardinals are in and out of the garden from sunrise to sunset and are busy, especially with the grasshoppers. They will eat hoppers for a long time, but in years when we have very high grasshopper numbers, they eventually get tired of them and just stop eating them. The bluejays are being extra-helpful too.

It isn't a bad pest year overall, but my garden has a very high population of beneficial insects, which tells me there actually have been huge numbers of bad guys. The good guys' population doesn't skyrocket until there's lot of bad guys for the younger generations to eat. That may be why you aren't seeing much damage from the potato bugs---they're too busy running from the beneficial insects to chow down very much.

If you found a few squash bugs, there's likely eggs somewhere. Keep watching for them. If you can find and destroy all the eggs before the population skyrockets, you'll save yourself endless grief.

For the eggs that are hard to scrape off, I use different tactics. Sometimes I can scrape them off with a plastic knife. Sometimes I use a piece of duct tape...I hold the sticky side up to the eggs and it peels them off the leaf. Sometimes I cannot get the eggs off the leaf, and I don't want to sacrifice the whole leaf, so I take my scissors and just cut out and dispose of the portion of the leaf that had the eggs stuck to it. There's more than one way to skin a cat.

Dawn


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RE: Help! Squash bugs are here!

Oh man. 4 more today and 2 were attached to each other. Still no eggs. I'm obsessing. All the cucurbits are sprouting now. I see a lot of tachinid flies, parasitic wasps and lady bugs. There's hope. gah!

I saw a baby praying mantis on the corn yesterday. Awesome! I'm wishing I had a great video camera.


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RE: Help! Squash bugs are here!

I make a special effort to kill those mating ones that are attached to each other. Some other squash bug may dive off the plant and run hide, but I'll chase down the happy couples, and it is easy because they cannot get away quickly when they are like that.. Every happy couple you kill is umpteen eggs you just prevented from being laid.


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RE: Help! Squash bugs are here!

Just reporting in: I have been checking my tromboncino squash plants several times a day, and find a squash bug or two each time. Also lots of eggs, and a batch of tiny nymphs a couple of times. I have been very diligent about doing it, and I think so far I'm keeping them all (or almost all!) under control. Thanks to all of you who gave me inspiration! What I'm wondering is, will I have to keep doing this all summer -- it will become more and more of a job, as the plants get bigger and bigger -- or will the bugs slow down at some point, and not keep appearing? I know, I am a starry-eyed optimist!
Flis


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RE: Help! Squash bugs are here!

lol @ 'happy couples'

Flis, that's a very good question. I'd like to know


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RE: Help! Squash bugs are here!

I dont have squash bugs just yet, but i did kill a SVB today and scraped multiple eggs off of the plant she was trying to infiltrate. I promptly covered that plant under a tunnel even though its a C. Moschata. I guess i was thinking they wouldn't be as attracted to the moschata types i planted but i guess i have no reason to think that. Maybe just that family is more resilient against borers? I cant remember, now that ive started rambling about it. Lol
So far it seems my beneficial insects are everywhere, but the bad bugs are just starting to show up. I smashed quite a few cucumber beetles today. But i have so many wheelbug nymphs running around i probably shouldn't kill any bad bugs or there wont be enough food to go around. I sure dont want my good guys going anywhere. Here are a few shots of my good guys..

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What great photos!! What are the last three and what do they do? I don't know these.


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RE: Help! Squash bugs are here!

Beautiful photos! I'd like captions too!


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RE: Help! Squash bugs are here!

Ok! #1. Male 5 lined skink (orange throat indicates its male & its mating season) #2. Tobacco Hornworm covered in a mass of ectoparasitic larvae of a chalsid wasp #3. Wheelbug instar (stage 3 of 5?) #4. Juvenile praying mantis #5. Slender (running) crab spider #6. Aphid lion next to an aphid (juvenile green lacewing) #7. Ladybug larva

The second best thing about gardening (after fresh produce) is all the creatures! I love bugs! Even the bad bugs are super interesting (although they still get smashed in my garden lol) The whole ecosystem is simply amazing.
Alexis


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Whoa, there's a big family of crab spiders and they're all beneficial. I've been smacking the poor things so they don't crawl up my breeches while I'm weeding. Doh. RIP

I think you just helped me solve a 2 year old puzzle. We found these bugs in the water tank that looked similar to insect monsters I once saw in a movie at an impressionable age. They look just like the lacewig larvae. I kid you not, these were up to 3-1/2" long. I feel sorry for whatever came across their path.

Last year we were creeped out again, but it was dragon fly larvae.

Thank you. I just learned a ton!


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RE: Help! Squash bugs are here!

Are these little guys squash bug nymphs? They're busily sucking away on my fledgling sunflowers. Maybe 2 to 3 times larger than the aphids I've run into. A fraction of them have tiny clear wings.

Here is a link that might be useful: squash bug nymphs?


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RE: Help! Squash bugs are here!

Jonpalmer- after reading a bit i want to say those Are some species of aphid, although i cant identify which one. Only aphids have those two little "whiskers" or appendages sticking off their hind end. They are actually tubes called cornicles that excrete honeydew. Are there ants running around those bugs? Typically ants will farm aphids, even defend them against predators because the ants harvest the honeydew. If they are aphids i highly recommend trying to smash them or shoot them with the hose. Anything sucking on your plants can transmit different diseases depending on the creature. Maybe someone else recognizes them and has an ID?
Speaking of aphids i learned something super cool today. While trying to ID a bug online, i came across another thing ive seen here and there in the garden but assumed it was some type of small pearl colored egg so ive always smashed them thinking just another leaf eating caterpillar would emerge. Here is a picture of what i thought was an egg.. look closely and you'll notice legs!
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So what you are looking at is a "mummy" aphid that has been the victim of a tiny parasitic wasp! So cool! Below is a link with more info on the wasp. After reading that i was pretty excited to find an entire aphid colony mummified today! And of course, i took a picture!
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Bon, all spiders
are beneficial , but there are only two species in Oklahoma (in my opinion) that pose more of a threat than a benefit and that is the black widow and brown recluse. Any other species of spider (In Oklahoma!) cant really hurt you beyong an itchy bite that may hurt for a day or two, unless you are extremely allergic which is very rare. So Those two are the only spiders i kill. The rest i just keep a reasonable distance or try to work around when encountered. Most people think im weird but if i find a fly spider or "nice" spider indoors, i get a cup and relocate them back to the garden. Its not so much that i Love spiders its more that i HATE flies, mosquitoes, etc.
Id love to know what you found in the stock tank, but im sure it wasnt an aphid lion. They are very, very small as you can see the one picture is next to a green aphid. And not aquatic. Maybe you had water scavenger beetle larvae or giant water bug larvae? I have the heebiejeebies just looking at the pictures! They definitely would make a great scary movie monster! Lol

Here is a link that might be useful: Parasitic Wasp for aphid control


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I remember it was a dry year and that was before I learned to give the water a stir every day with a branch or something. It went sour. That only heightened the creep factor. I had an impending sense of guilt from a dead sparrow coupled with the monster creepies in the tank. Gives me the heebeejeebees just thinking about it. Whew.

Apparently, I got everything resolved. Dragon flies and tadpoles are quite happy keeping the mosquito larvae in check. I wanted to put a perch in there, but couldn't figure out how. But, then, I noticed a very slow leak from the tank dribbling into a pool on the ground. And winged creatures were satisfying themselves so I just left the leak alone.

Life is special. Takes so little to help out.


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RE: Help! Squash bugs are here!

Jonpalmer, could this be your bug? There are over 250 different species of pest aphids ranging from 1-6mm, but most are host specific.

http://bugguide.net/node/view/181520


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RE: Help! Squash bugs are here!

Flis, We normally have two generations of squash bugs here in our part of the state. I assume the same is true for all of Oklahoma as well, but haven't lived anywhere further north than where I am now, so that is just a guess.

It usually takes from 4-6 weeks or maybe even 7 or 8 weeks for a full generation of squash bugs to go from egg to mature egg-laying adult. So, the little tiny nymphs just hatching out now could be laying eggs of their own sometime in July. Then, those nymphs will hatch, grow and cause your plants trouble from July through the first autumn freeze, or until all your squash and pumpkin plants die---whichever comes first.

It is important to continue killing those squash bugs and removing and destroying the eggs all summer and fall in an effort to reduce the population you'll have to deal with next year. Some people leave a half-dead squash in the ground for as long as they can so it will keep attracting more squash bugs so they can keep killing more squash bugs. The fall adults will overwinter and be the start of your garden's 2015 squash bug infestation, so the more of them you find and kill in autumn, the fewer you'll have around creating more problems next spring.

Alexis, C. moschata plants are not immune to damage from either squash bugs or squash vine borers---just somewhat more tolerant of it. With the squash bugs, I still kill them relentlessly when I see them on C. moschata plants, but even if I don't, they don't seem to do much harm to them. I am not sure if it is because the C. moschata varieties are more tolerant of the diseases they carry or if they just grow so monstrously fast that they can outgrow disease. With the squash vine borers, it is normal for the borers to bore their way through squash plant stems which largely are hollow. The C. moschata stems are pretty solid, making it very difficult for borers to travel through them, so they usually don't suffer much damage from SVBs. I have seen anecdotal reports of SVB-damage killing C. moschata plants, but it never has happened in my garden.

I found another SVB moth in my garden today, flying around trying to find an uncovered squash plant to attack. I told it "Go ahead. Make my day."

Dawn


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RE: Help! Squash bugs are here!

Jon, as you know I'm not familiar but hat bug sure looks like a wheel bug nymph, but the color is wrong. I tried to do a search with keywords in that regard with no positive matches.

Everything viewed was related to some type of assassin or beneficial. I'm itching to know what it is, now.


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RE: Help! Squash bugs are here!

what are these little beetles?


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RE: Help! Squash bugs are here!

Bon, There are at least 400,000 known and described beetle species in the world, and maybe another 600,000 known of but not described/named. So, we can guess what it is and maybe have a 1 in 400,000 chance of getting it right. Those aren't great odds. I'll take a stab at guessing what it is though.

Since it is black and since it is on your corn foliage, I am going to guess it might be a corn flea beetle. If that isn't what it is, we have only 399,999 more guesses to go.

Dawn

Here is a link that might be useful: Corn flea beetle


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RE: Help! Squash bugs are here!

Okay. I'll hold ya to that. They're everywhere, but I don't see any damage from them.


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RE: Help! Squash bugs are here!

Bon, i think that is a white-margined burrower bug. Is this your bug? Ill link the bugguide page too for more picts.
 photo white margined burrower bug.jpg

Here is a link that might be useful: White-margined burrower bug


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RE: Help! Squash bugs are here!

Yep! That's it.


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RE: Help! Squash bugs are here!

  • Posted by mksmth oklahoma 7a (My Page) on
    Mon, Jun 9, 14 at 22:33

Ahhhhh. I got squashbugs too! Ive been killing a few per day. Havent found anymore eggs in a couple days so thats good. Thelittle jerks got my big max pumpkin and have almost killed my jack o lantern pumpkin. I found some on my yellow squash but the plant looks good. I sowed more pumpkin seeds. Maybe ill still get some for halloween.

Mike


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RE: Help! Squash bugs are here!

My squash plant is on the rebound and a fruit is showing up! I'd take a pic but that would require a snapped neck. I scraped more eggs, today. When I lifted the stem I found a wolf spider. I greeted him warmly and gently put the stem back. ha


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RE: Help! Squash bugs are here!

Last night we ate our first squash for supper. Yummy! It was worth all the work of scraping eggs and scouting for bugs. Keep up the good fight!


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RE: Help! Squash bugs are here!

I've started vacuuming my squash and letting the chickens in the garden in the evenings. We will see how it progresses.


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RE: Help! Squash bugs are here!

The war over the pumpkins continues. Now, they're after my cukes. Fortunately, I'm only seeing a couple mating adults every few days. I keep killing the nymphs which, apparently, are being born elsewhere before finding the plants. And I'm able to search and destroy all eggs.

I keep forgetting to put down a board near the plants.


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RE: Help! Squash bugs are here!

The war never ends once the squash bugs show up. You'll see them until the first frost, which for most of us isn't until November. I hate them.


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RE: Help! Squash bugs are here!

As soon as I see any eggs or adults I start a daily patrol I take some masking or duct tape and use the sticky side to pull the eggs off the leaves check both sides of the leaves I also have a pump spray bottle with soapy water to spray any adults or nymphs kills them in a few minutes , Once a week I use my hose end sprayer ( the kind with a mixing tank on it and use a strong soapy mix and soap the entire patch I make a lot of suds and soak it in ( I call it nuking the squash ) I also put some flat boards around each hill as they like to hide there at night and can be collected after dark or early in the A.M. it also helps to have no mulch they can hide in I use black plastic. It can be a battle but you can control them . Good Luck


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