Protect summer squash from bugs

Gilmer, TX(Zone 7b)

What kind of flowers or herbs can I plant along with the squash...or away from to keep the squash bugs away....2 seasons and they kill my squash...please help

Hutto, TX(Zone 8b)


You can use insecticide, or you could use row covers. I'm told that row-covers work really well to protect the plants. I admit, I use a little Sevin dust (applied lightly, at night--to limit damage to bees) with a Dustin Mizer. It generates a very fine, even, layer of insecticide dust. When the blossoms open the next morning, they are clean where the bees might touch them. I know that several other Dave's members use row covers, even for large, commercial quantity crops.

Good luck!


Caneyville, KY(Zone 6b)

Nasturtiums (flower) helps repel squash bugs.

Planting several Radish seeds in a ring around each squash plants helps protect against from squash borers.

I find it also helps to do succession planting with summer squashes.

You could also do a search for homemade organic pest sprays and come up with several recipes. Spray the plants as David suggests, avoiding spraying it on the blooms.

Gilmer, TX(Zone 7b)

I really like to stay chem I will plant the Nasturtiums. I want about 6 plants so could I make a big ring around all mounds and plant the radishes..My yard is fairly big gardeners playing field..Thks for info...dreaves ? What are row covers made of? yes I am new to the new age stuff lol thks again...Trish

Philadelphia, PA(Zone 7a)

Pjmerritt...I just posted this in another is th copy and paste....

Jensmtngarden--I have a few suggestions for the bugs...I have found a place to get praying mantis eggs, beneficial nematodes and lace wings...they eat lots of garden pests, as do ladybugs...I also plant marigolds and basil, which deter a few more bugs, and if all that fails, there is natural pesticides...I grow nicotiana (aka tobacco) they have pretty flowers and foliage..the foliage I dry first, then create a "tea" (stinky) by soaking for a few days...put in sprayer half dilute(more if bad bugs are tough). If you smoke or know a smoker, you can save butts, soak and create the same effect, if you don't want the flowers. There is also natural ways of repelling dogs,cats and rabbits if you don't wanna put up fences. They also have another one for deer...I read too much..I know. lol.


I hope this info helps!!!

Gilmer, TX(Zone 7b)

Thks Dee

Pulaski, GA

Ms. Robin, I'm interested in the use of radish plants to deter squash vine borers. I lose most of my squash and zucchini plants every summer to those horrid things. How do the radish plants keep the orange and black moth from laying her eggs on the squash plants?

Washington, DC(Zone 7a)

According to "Carrots Love Tomatoes"...

"Two or three icicle radishes planted in each hill will help prevent insects on squash as on cucumbers. Let the radishes grow and go to seed. Nasturiums will repel squash bugs and so will cigarette ash and other tobacco residue if placed with the seed when it is planted."

If you have similar companion plant questions, definitely pick up a copy of "Carrots love Tomatoes" by Louise Riotte

I had horrible Squash vine borers last year, which killed my entire crop, so I'll definitely be using this advice this year!

Caneyville, KY(Zone 6b)

Milesdt, I'm only guessing that it is the smell of the radishes that repels the borers. I haven't been able to find any info on why radishes work, but have read about plants that have a strong smell (onions, garlic, certain flowers) being used around vegetable plants as a repellent.

I'm not familiar with the orange and black moth you mentioned, but there are plants that will repel other moths. It's also helpful to make a couple of plantings of squash a week or two apart, with some distance between them. Crop rotation is also important, as many insects overwinter in the soil and plant debris left in the garden.

If you do a search for "Companion planting for pest control" you can find lots of info. Here are 2 links that I use for reference.

Hope this helps.

silver spring, MD(Zone 7a)

Got this from Golden Harvest Organics

SQUASH: Companions: Beans, corn, cucumbers, icicle radishes, melon, mint, onions and pumpkin. Helpers: Borage deters worms, improves growth and flavor. Marigolds deters beetle. Nasturtium deters squash bugs and beetles. Oregano provides general pest protection. Keep squash away from potatoes

Pulaski, GA

Okay, now I need to know what icicle radishes are. I thought I could just plant the regular round red ones. Are icicle radishes the ones that look like carrots?

Ms. Robin, the orange and black moth that I mentioned is the one that lays the eggs that hatch into squash vine borers.

Caneyville, KY(Zone 6b)

Yes, Icicle radishes are small white carrot-looking. I've seen them where seeds are sold.

I've had squash borers on one or two plants every year, but have not seen the moths. They must have snuck in while I was chasing away cabbage moths on the other end of the garden. LOL

Charlotte, NC(Zone 7b)

Melittia satyriniformis

Caneyville, KY(Zone 6b)

Honeybee, Thanks, I have seen the moths before. As the article said, I did mistake it for a wasp or bee of some sort. Great plant saving techniques.

Pulaski, GA

Everytime I read about the moth, the word "elusive" is used. I've only seen one of them once. Interesting article in Wikipedia. I've tried everything in it and nothing worked. This summer I'm planning to try the radishes. Plus, I will probably try sprinkling black pepper and/or wood ashes on the vine where they come out of the ground. I just read about that in a book.

Fort Worth, TX(Zone 8a)

The problem here is that nasturtiums and radishes don't grow at the same time as the squash.

Pulaski, GA

Same here, stephanietx. We are in zone 9, coastal GA. I just found out that radishes like cool weather. Rats!

Caneyville, KY(Zone 6b)

I would venture to say that if you can just get the radishes started around the squashes, the squashes will shade and somewhat cool the radishes and probably won't grow much anyway. These are just sacrificial radishes, so size and shape wouldn't matter, and I think they put off smell all the time once they begin growing.

Washington, DC(Zone 7a)

I second msrobin's comment! I think if you aren't eating them anyway, then it doesn't matter if they suddenly bolt or otherwise look unhappy. You just need them for the smell.

Caneyville, KY(Zone 6b)

Any updates on the squash bug problems and do any suggestions listed above appear to be helping?

Gilmer, TX(Zone 7b)

Not sure yey but gonna try the flowers and the radishes tks all

(Carole) Cleveland, TX(Zone 9a)

SO glad I found this thread before I plant my squash.
I'm going to try the Three Sisters method for the first time, so my corn is first.

I'll be picking up seeds for Nasturtiums & Icicle Radishes, and planting my Borage & Oregano around them too.

Good job, Guys!!!

Pulaski, GA

FINALLY found the icicle radish seeds... at Walmart (!) and they are organic, no less. You just never know.

(Carole) Cleveland, TX(Zone 9a)

oh good, thank you! I was at Home Depot today, in the garden center, and asked where the seed packs were. When they told me they were by the self checkout stands (in the middle of the store), I just turned around and paid for my COOL Oyster Plant (ahhh! so THAT's what Moses in a Basket is! aka Boatlily--cool) AND the pot I picked is so jelly-jam-packed - I can hardly WAIT to go plant it in a ROW - something I rarely manage to do.

will shop for icicle radishe seeds at walmart now--thanks!

.... adding: also remember I need to put a nail or toothpick next to each squash plant! starting from seed, so I hope I catch them in time!

Thumbnail by Cajun2
Bonham, TX

I finally won the battle with squash bugs last year. For my insecticide I use two tablespoons of dawn dish soap in a spray bottle of water. It takes the bugs around four minutes to die, so be patient. I check the leaves for eggs on the underside of the plants and just tear off that part of the leaf and put it in a plastic bag. I also use a cedar mulch around the plants when they are young.
I'm on my way to Walmart for radish and nasturtium seeds.
Wishing luck to everyone!

Central, AL(Zone 7b)

Bill, thank you for posting thus bring back this tread. Lot of gardeners/newbies like myself, perhaps will find the info. within helpful.

Thanks all.

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