Garden Journal

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Squash Bug

Squash Bug
The squash bug (Heteroptera: Coreidae Anasa tristis) comes out in june and starts to attack the summer squash and winter squash in the garden. This sucking feeder does damage to the leaves stems and fruits of my spagetti, yellow summer, zucchuni, and butternut squash.

Occasionally while inspecting my plants I will find a load of eggs looking exactly like the picture below. The cluster of eggs is often accompanied by a few immature squash bugs. I try to destroy as many of the eggs as I can find, but there always seems to be more.

I don't have a huge problem with squash bugs. The damage is not nearly as dramatic as that seens with the squash vine boerer. Consequently, I do not use any methods of control beside routine inspection of the plants and manual killing of the adults, larva, and eggs. A good trick to kill off a bunch of these bugs is to lay a board near one of the squash plants overnight and then go out in the morning, lift up the board and start killing bugs. For more serious squash bug infestations it is suggested to use row covers, plant more resistant cultivars and attempt parasitic control with parasitic wasps. Organic insecticides don't seem to be particularly effective against this bug.


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