I gave up on growing summer squash at home due to the squash vine borers mentioned in a recent post. When I had an opportunity to try them again in a community garden, they started off beautifully but within a month weeks were reduced to NOTHING by a different squash beast!!!! Not sure of the scientific name - but I've heard them just called squash bugs. The juveniles are gray and the adults are darker. I tried killing as many as I could by hand but there were way too many. We are only supposed to use organic controls in the gardens and while I was trying to figure out what to use, those blasted things took over. I'm almost afraid to go see the garden now - I'm concerned about my pepper plants and tomatoes. I did have an early warning - first pic below - July 13th - eggs on pepper plant leaf next to squash. The second image has the young squash bugs - you might have to zoom in - that was taken August 13th. They have such voracious appetites it is incredible to me how fast they can destroy. Ugh - I really HATE this things. Is there a safe spray to control them? I'm thinking that unless you can spray at the first sight of them, it's a lost cause. Any "resistant" veggies? Thanks a bunch!
Squash bug resistant veggies?
I'm having the same issues and will be following this thread closely. I def am not planting any squash next year, although I did read that there are some resistant butternuts. Here's hoping we both get some help!
Since the eggplant is next to the squash, I'm guessing the eggs were layed there more for the squash than the eggplant.
I have to battle squash bugs every year and I have found that butternut (a winter squash) is pretty tough at surviving an attack of both squash bugs and squash borers. I'm not saving I won't lose some, but my success rate is extremely higher with butternut compared to other winter squash and all summer squash.
For now, I plant extra summer squash to compensate for my loss. It usually does OK but this year, with the extreme dry weather, nothing is normal. (my pest of the year for 2012 is actually the cucumber beetle)
To control squash bugs in the future I'm hoping to purchase a cordless shop vac to suck them up. I will then release them in the chicken yard and let them fend for themselves.
I like that shop vac idea - kinda out of the box, but sounds like it would work. Thankfully my bell peppers were OK when I checked last night and I was amazed that there only a few squash bugs left in my little garden square. I did see one or two brave cucumber beetles who weren't intimidated by the mob of squash bugs that had been there. Another thing I thought was odd was that in the initial stage where I somehow thought I could smash them all, I noticed a sweet smell after I had mashed a bunch of them. Cursed things.....
Squash bugs- leaffooted bugs? Are drawn to sunflowers, and will prefer them to other plants. Squash borers are a horse of a different color, heard of drastic measures tryin to save plants from those.
if you plant sunflowers for them, can't their populations get out of control? I always think that when people talk about planting something else FOR the bugs.
Like you were inviting them AND their generations to dinner, chuckl? Attract em, spray something to kill them that is gone the nex day, or wash the plant down After spraying and call here bugs, come to your supper, a nice pyrethrin is ready and waitin!
Well, there were sunflowers out at the community garden and they are still looking good, but I heard another person's zuccini were also annihalated by the squash bugs - Anasa tristis.
This article has good pictures and a few ideas:
This thread in another forum has suggestions like spraying soapy water or eucalyptus oil (that sounds expensive, not sure).
Hmm pungent anyway, Texas is being plagued also this year by droves of the things, I wish you luck!
Here in UK we are driven mad in spring / early summer by the white cabbage butterfly eggs they lay on the leaf of the young developing veg, you pick, blast or hand squash these clusters of eggs and soon as you are indoors to wash your hands, these lovely little butterfly's are back laying hundreds more eggs, as the caterpillars emerge from the eggs they devour the cabbage leaves at such a rate you can actually here them munch,
The only way I have found bullet proof and gives wonderful protection in these cases is to be organised BEFORE the egg laying bugs are active, make a frame for a light-weight frame and cover the veg in question with the white horticultural fleece, this fine light fleece allows sun through, rain or hand watering gets through too and if weeding or hoeing is required, I just lift the fleece up, carry out the work and replace the fleece, I hold the fleece in place at the soil by laying bricks or heavy stones along the edge, you don't need a frame IF you leave folds in the fleece to allow for the plants to grow and you just loosen the fleece as required. Buy the fleece, (very cheaply either off a roll by the metre or in packet already cut, to join the fleece if required just run through a sewing machine or tack together, OH and by the way you can throw in washing machine end of season ready for next year. use for the job mentioned, use for wrapping around winter tender shrubs etc, or preventing wind burn on tender greenery.
I only require this covering on for the duration of the egg laying weeks of the flies or bugs and then remove it.
I find this method saves hand picking the eggs as you have to be so vigilant and look under EVERY green leaf or use chemicals (I Never use) or blast off the eggs with the hose but by no means guaranteed success from experience.
Hope this helps you out. Good luck, WeeNel.