Squash Bug (Anasa tristis)

Order: Hemiptera (he-MIP-ter-a) (Info)
Family: Coreidae
Genus: Anasa
Species: tristis


This bug has been reportedly found in the following regions:

, Alabama
Tuscaloosa, Alabama
El Mirage, Arizona
Glendale, Arizona
Mesa, Arizona
Phoenix, Arizona
Queen Creek, Arizona
Snowflake, Arizona
Sonoita, Arizona
Conway, Arkansas
Fayetteville, Arkansas
Jonesboro, Arkansas
Chico, California
Palo Alto, California
Reseda, California
Paonia, Colorado
Osprey, Florida
Palm Bay, Florida
Chatsworth, Georgia
Kingsland, Georgia
Boise, Idaho
Kankakee, Illinois
Des Moines, Iowa
Ottumwa, Iowa
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Coushatta, Louisiana
New Orleans, Louisiana
East Jordan, Michigan
Cottage Grove, Minnesota
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Ballwin, Missouri
Blue Springs, Missouri
Marshfield, Missouri
Maryville, Missouri
Carson City, Nevada
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Corrales, New Mexico
Magdalena, New Mexico
Averill Park, New York
Jordan, New York
North Collins, New York
Ravena, New York
Ayden, North Carolina
Charlotte, North Carolina
Clemmons, North Carolina
Ellenboro, North Carolina
Hillsborough, North Carolina
Pittsboro, North Carolina
Athens, Ohio
Batavia, Ohio
Columbus, Ohio
Kenton, Ohio
Mantua, Ohio
Agra, Oklahoma
Cushing, Oklahoma
Salina, Oklahoma
Talihina, Oklahoma
Chambersburg, Pennsylvania
Glenville, Pennsylvania
Hummelstown, Pennsylvania
Rockton, Pennsylvania
North Smithfield, Rhode Island
Effingham, South Carolina
Laurens, South Carolina
Gallatin, Tennessee
Iron City, Tennessee
Louisville, Tennessee
Chandler, Texas
El Paso, Texas
Fate, Texas
Gladewater, Texas
Hutto, Texas
Ingram, Texas
Iowa Park, Texas
Irving, Texas (2 reports)
Lampasas, Texas
Lincoln, Texas
Mabank, Texas
Mesquite, Texas
Nevada, Texas
New Caney, Texas
Odessa, Texas
Quinlan, Texas
Waller, Texas
Pleasant Grove, Utah
Arlington, Virginia
Chesapeake, Virginia
Lexington, Virginia
Nellysford, Virginia
Richmond, Virginia
South Boston, Virginia
Yakima, Washington
Show all

Members' Notes:


On Feb 19, 2011, ilovebees3 from Columbia, MO wrote:

Central Missouri in 2010.

I have devoted a considerable amount of time thinking about and dealing with this bug. Can't put all info down here.

1) This bug is tough ( and smart ?). Tried using tanglefoot on a board as a trap baited with attached to vine live squash fruit. It was able to walk thru it ! Most often it simply crawled along the vine and thus over the sticky board to get to fruit.

2) Covered each small fruit with reemway bag to stop bug from feeding on fruit. It worked well, but left the rest of vine to their lack of mercy.

3) Most squash plants are a tangled long mess and very hard and expensive to spray and so spraying is not a good solution.

Some people claim planting alot of onions around the plant... read more


On Aug 23, 2010, herbsherbs from Ravena, NY wrote:

Disgusting useless creatures, each year more rampant than the last, hoards sucking the life out of all pumpkins, squash, melons, cukes (though the striped cuke beetle is even worse with cukes & melon); customers know I use no sprays, but the constant squishing of bugs & eggs is now beyond my abilities...will planting NO cucurbits next season bring the cycle to an end so I can start over again the following year?


On Jul 5, 2010, Urchin123 from Hillsborough, NC wrote:

The only squash plants that are producing in my garden are the ones that have holy basil planted in the middle of the hill to cover the crown of the plants. This has helped deter squash bugs and borers!
Some squash bugs are there but in low enough numbers, I've managed to control by hand picking and destroying. Holy basil has also helped with leaf footed bugs.


On Jun 5, 2010, tapco1 from Charlotte, NC wrote:

This Anasa Tristis bug is so aggressive all attempts at using an organic treatment have failed. I live in Charlotte, NC

This year 2010 I tried a control area of squash and used Bayer Complete insect killer for fruits and gardens. It has a reduced amount of the chemical called Imidacloprid .23% as compared to the stronger version that has .77%. Even at these levels I have tried using only 2 drops per quart of water. I compliment that with 1 teaspoon of organic liquid fertilized and 1/4 teaspoon of dishwater detergent to help it adhere to the foliage. So far my control area has been free of any Anasa Tristis damage while my other organically grown squash without the treatment suffer from the plight of this beastly bug. ( You can apply this concoction to leaves or drench the ro... read more


On Mar 15, 2010, JollyGreenThumb from Kosse, TX wrote:

These little demons will even eat prickly pear catcus. This is where I find the first specimens in the spring. They migrate to the garden once it has matured enough to feed them.
The will eat not only squash plants, but cucumbers, melons & tomatoes. I've tried the organic approach, using Neem oil - no effect. I also tried hand picking & squashing them - kind of like bailing out the ocean. I finally resorted to a Sevin spray. You have to be proactive. Remain vigilant & apply the spray at the first sign of an adult or the eggs on the underside of vegetation.
If someone can share an organic approach that works, I'd love to hear about it.


On Aug 30, 2009, Jim_888 from Kenton, OH wrote:

These little devils are responsible for a complete wipeout of my squash garden the past 2 years in a row. Last year, I received absolutely zero produce from my four squash plants. This year, I planted SEVEN squash plants, hoping to fight against the bugs in numbers. That did absolutely no good. Five of them never even grew; they just withered away and died, as small as they were when I put them in the ground. Of the two that did survive, they only managed to choke out 1 squash before succumbing to the bugs.

See my plants in these photos:
/photos/[email protected]/
(View the three pics labeled "2009")
Believe it or not, there used to be seven plants in that space!

I've also posted... read more


On May 21, 2009, hoosierfarmboy from Franklinton, LA (Zone 8b) wrote:

Have these, surprisingly, in a small garden planted in potting mix and also in soil that has been under cinders and concrete for about 50 years. They have been enjoying my cafeteria of potato and tomato plants; however, our southern Louisiana lizards seem to have found them to be appetizing. The squash bugs are not as prevelant as they were a week ago, and the lizards are getting fat.

The tomatoes are holding their own, growing and fruiting slowly, the potato plants are still producing new growth from the apex (upper tips of the plant.) The herbs I have planted are not being affected by them. More later.


On May 3, 2009, arielsq4 from Reno, NV wrote:

In Reno, Nevada this bug has become a major pest over the past ten years or so, attacking and usually destroying my entire butternut winter squash crop. Nothing seems to deter this pest. I am organic so I won't try Sevin insecticide but Sabadilla dust doesn't help much either. Placing flat boards near each bush doesn't attract even one bug overnight. It is interesting that they have never infested my Lemon Cucumber plants nearby and only rarely do I find them in the melons and the damage is minimal. Occasionally my Spring covey of Valley Quail patrol the squash plants and make a real meal of the insects morning and night but they aren't always reliable. There must be a way to control this pest but I'll probably die trying to find it.


On Jan 22, 2009, Gazoodles from Iowa Park, TX (Zone 7b) wrote:

I have had these beasties attack all kinds of squash and tomato plants. The only effective control I've found is scraping the eggs and nymphs into a large diameter tin can (like a coffee can) that is half full of old oil that had been used for making french fried potatoes. When there are a lot of them, my husband will lift the vine so I can set the can on the ground underneath, and then knock the nymphs off into the oil where they drown. The adults have to be caught (I wear nitrile gloves) and thrown into the oil. This is also how I deal with the Colorado potato beetles. I have never found a spray that was effective against these monsters. My husband has run a cord out to the garden and brought his shop vac out to vacuum them off of the plants.


On Sep 6, 2008, jadira from Mantua, OH (Zone 5b) wrote:

I found this bug this summer on my first ever crop of pumpkins. Nasty. They have turned leaves brown and even munched on the fruit itself, although this could also be slug damage. (According to Dept of Entomology at U. of Minnesota, anasa tristis will even eat the fruit. http://www.vegedge.umn.edu/vegpest/cucs/squabug.htm) See my photos! I haven't yet decided how I will manage them other than with boards and cleaning up debris. I hesitate to spray since this will also kill pollinators.


On Sep 5, 2008, dovey from Columbus, OH (Zone 5b) wrote:

These things are devastating, we had several healthy squash plants and one huge pumpkin plant. In a matter of days the plants were over run with squash bugs.
We trimmed off leaves with eggs on the backside and sprayed with neem... 10 out of 12 squash plants have died. I'm ready to dig up the last 2 just to be rid of the bugs.
After some research this is what I found regarding organic control.

Organic Control: There are few if any effective organic control options for squash bug.
However, natural enemies of the squash bug include Tachinid fly, Trishopoda pennipes and Sceleonids, Eumicrosoma spp. These biological control options may prove useful.
Sabadilla may provide some control and is organic certified.

Apparently Neem ... read more


On Jul 26, 2008, Pamgarden from Central, VA (Zone 7b) wrote:

Wish I'd known about these before they completely ruined my beautiful pumpkins and squash. One day the plants were gloriously healthy with many flowers and fruits, the next the leaves looked wilted, and within a week everything was brown and crunchy.


On Mar 27, 2007, sassymomma from Spring, TX wrote:

I had over 32 Tomatoe plants in my garden last year and lost well over half of them to this bug. I was unaware that they would attack tomatoes....... This year I am thinking of planting a sacrifice crop.


On Mar 2, 2007, Raine_Bradford from Paonia, CO wrote:

Once squash bugs find your garden, they are going to be there permanently, as they winter over in protected areas nearby. That's the bad news. The good news is that they can be controlled to the extent that they don't ruin your cucurbits. The best way to control these nasty predators is to start before you see them. Use sevin dust on your plants once the plants are just a few inches tall. Weekly applications will insure survival of your plants. If you are worried about staying organic, rotenone will also work, but it doesn't kill the adults. So you have to really stay on top of the spraying. Unless you have a very small garden or lots of time on your hands, forget hand picking the bugs.


On Jan 9, 2007, stephaniadawn from Agra, OK wrote:

once it finishes with your squash and runs out of that it will move on to other plants. it devistated most of my garden one year. only thing that i have found will get rid of them is picking oand squashing and spray with polya from gardens alive.
they lay there eggs on underside of leaves. i remove leave an burn. also spray all heavly with poyla.


On Sep 8, 2006, kennedyh from Churchill, Victoria,
Australia (Zone 10a) wrote:

This comment was passed to me by a non-subscriber:
"You might want to pass along this tip . Put some boards all around the plants. For some reason the squash bugs like to live under them. This way it is easy to catch them. ~~~Jeff~~~"


On Sep 3, 2006, rundown from Maryville, MO wrote:

These guys r nasty!! Went on a trip for 10 days, came home to wilted zucs, buttercups, butternut...these armoured $ob's were even sucking on the "fruit", causeing funky shaped cuc's and skabby patches on the winter squash. I got down to thier level and noticed it was a baby boom!! Nymphs & eggs everywere! I'm going to try to "heat sanitize" the soil this fall and again next spring...it's got to help...it can't get much worse!!


On Aug 25, 2006, wildlifer from Nashville, TN (Zone 6b) wrote:

Found 2 of these on my Grandiflora Flying Saucer Coreopsis early summer 2006 here in Nashville, TN. Wasn't sure what they were at first or if they were a good or bad bug, but after watching, noticed them sucking on the stems of new growth. Picked them both off & researched. The coreopsis did fine this summer with regular deadheading & I've not seen any more of these bugs, but will be on the lookout now & in the future.


On Aug 24, 2006, cm101746 from Bowie, MD wrote:

I had the most prolific cucumber crop last year and this year I had a total of 4 cukes from a ton of plants due to the evil Squash Bug. I went away for a short vacation and noticed when I returned that my cucumbers were over-run by Squash Bugs. What a mess! Luckily I got them away from most of the tomatoes and other plants. I yanked all my cuke plants and am trying to replant at this late date. We get veggies until the late fall so I may be able to recover some crop.

Does anyone have a favorite bug killer I could use on these little beasts?


On Aug 1, 2006, calicorkication from Jonesboro, AR wrote:

This bug has been responsible for killing most of my squash crop, including scallop, crookneck, and zucchini. I rarely see them on my melons or cucumbers but I have read they will attack any cucurbit family plants. I have also read some companion plants will deter or repel these bugs but I am just now planting them so I have nothing to report on results yet. Two of the plants I am trying are nasturtium and tansy.


On Jul 31, 2006, city_of_refuge from Chesapeake, VA wrote:

I had some beautiful hollyhocks that were doing really well. I started noticing that the leaves were starting to turn brown and die. I don't know if the heat did them in (the seeds came from my father's hollyhocks in Vermont) and I never researched to see if they could stand the weather here in Virginia. I did find these bugs all over the leaves though, as well as their eggs. I killed as many as I could, bugs and eggs. Maybe I was too late. I saved a couple of the bugs--put them in a jar. I was going to try to find out what they were. Now I know, thanks to this site! I lost that patch of hollyhocks--I do have others growing though. Hopefully they'll bloom this year! Thanks for the informative site.


On Jul 30, 2006, matt5797 from Gallatin, TN (Zone 6b) wrote:

This bug is devastating if left on squash plants. At first, they may be noticed greedily feeding, with no visible plant problems--They look much like a stink bug and carry the odor also. The plant then starts to lose its older leaves, and younger leaves may wilt and turn yellow toward their edges. While the plant is still at least one half unharmed, you must hit them with Sevin or another harsh pesticide or your squash plant will likely die. Apply in dry conditions so the pesticide remains active for hours and make sure you get the whole plant. Pay attention to the undersides of the leaves. Organic sprays are usually no match for the hardy bug.


On Jul 25, 2006, Xenomorf from Phoenix, AZ (Zone 9b) wrote:

This bug is not good for your squash garden. It eats the leaves. Squish the eggs and bugs whenever possible.