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Eco-friendly Control of Squash Bugs

Don’t let squash bugs ruin your harvest. Incorporate an integrated and eco-friendly strategy to keep their damage to a minimum.

These slightly oval coppery gray bugs feed on pumpkins and squash. They suck plant juices and can transmit the deadly Cucurbit yellow vine disease. Start by keeping your plants healthy.

Remove weeds and other debris that provide great habitat for these pests. A thorough fall cleanup along with crop rotation will help reduce future problems.

Control small populations of the adult and immature squash bugs by knocking them into a can of soapy water.  Be sure to check under the leaves and along the stems. Crush the small (1/16 inch) yellowish-bronze eggs found on the underside of the leaves and stems. 

And trap the adults with wet newspaper, boards or shingles laid on the soil around the plants.  The squash bugs will gather under these. Then collect and destroy and them. 

A bit more information:  Exclusion is another control option. Cover squash at the time of planting with a floating row cover such as ReeMay or Harvest Guard. Secure the base to insure the squash bugs are unable to lay their eggs on your squash plants. Remove the covering as soon as the plants begin to flower, so pollination can occur.  This delays the attack and is often enough to manage the damage.

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