Spring Garden Tips
Chemical-free Squash Bug Control

A few yellow spots, browning or wilted leaves on cucumber, squash, pumpkins or melons should send you on a search for squash bugs.

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squash bug control without chemicalsThese ¾ inch long brown elongated bugs suck plant juices, but the real problem is the toxin they inject into the plant when feeding.

Keep your plants healthy and growing vigorously so they are better able to tolerate the damage. Try knocking small populations of the adult and immature squash bugs into a can of soapy water. Be sure to check under the leaves and stems. And you must be quick since they move fast when disturbed. Look for and crush the small (1/16th inch) yellowish-bronze eggs found on the underside of the leaves and stems.

Try trapping the adults with wet newspaper or boards laid on the soil around the plants. The squash bugs will gather under these at night and can be collected and destroyed in the morning.

A bit more information: Be sure to clean up debris surrounding the garden. This creates a great hiding place for this pest. In fall remove all plant debris, especially vine crops, where the squash bug may overwinter.

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