Squash Plants, and the Bugs that Love Them

Every July I go to war against the squash bug. I do not hope to defeat this terrible bug, I only hope to slow it down long enough to harvest my fill of summer squash.

Am I winning? I’m not sure. So far I’ve harvested three squash, and I’ve done three rounds of squash bug egg removal. Worth it? Well, I do like summer squash.

To get rid of the eggs you first have to find them, and most of them are found in clusters on the undersides of the leaves. They look like this:

005

One way to get rid of them is to scrape them away with a knife. It’s not as easy as it sounds, because they really stick on there, but I’m getting better with practice.

When I get really frustrated, I just cut away a small piece of the leaf, like so:

Squash-Bug-Eggs

Cutting away part of the leaf can’t be good for the plant, but neither are squash bugs! An advantage of this technique is you can get every last egg, and then contain them in a plastic bag and throw them in the trash. When you pop them off with a knife, some of the eggs stay on the knife blade, but others go flying through the air, and land fairly close to the plant. I’d rather get rid of them entirely.

This year I’ve been reading online, looking for other options, and I’m especially intrigued by the idea of using a soapy spray to kill the bugs. This post on squash bugs from Tending My Garden, has a description of this practice, and a wonderfully complete list of other options.

Let’s end on a positive. Here’s a picture of a healthy squash plant. This particular variety is ‘Alexandria’ which produces a light green squash.

Summer-Squash

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One response to “Squash Plants, and the Bugs that Love Them

  1. Pingback: Lemon Squash: So Far, So Good | Seeds, Mulch and Weeds

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