If you grow pumpkins, cucumbers, or other gourds, you would be most possibly familiar with this pesky garden nemesis. Squash bugs are tiny, flat, and brownish-gray in color and found on the underside of leaves.
The bugs can be very disastrous for the plants because they are difficult to manage. You can commonly found them on squash plants such as pumpkins, winter squash, and zucchini. They can also affect some other crops in the cucurbit family-like cucumbers and watermelon. Let’s take a brief overview of how to get rid of squash bugs…
How to get rid of squash bugs?
First of all, you should be able to identify this bug. It is a ½ to the 1-inch large bug with a gray or brownish body and flat back. Further, it has orange stripes on the edges and underside of the abdomen. The squash bug can fly but it walks around on the plants. Follow the steps below to get rid of squash bugs:
Step 1: Removal
There are different ways to get rid of them. Here are the 3 most common methods:
1. Scrap off the eggs
The first and foremost step is to scrap their eggs off from the plants using a butter knife. You can find their eggs on the undersides of the leaves as they live there.
The eggs hatch about every 10 days so you should keep an eye on the plants. Otherwise, a new generation of destructive troops would be ready to attack in your garden.
2. Pick and flick adult bugs
If there are a handful of squash bugs on your plants and you are able to remove them off with a hand, you should do that. Always use gloves when picking them off and flick them into a container of soapy water.
You can’t remove all bugs in your first attempt. Therefore, you should repeat this process every few days a week until all bugs are eliminated.
3. Set a nighttime trap
You can get rid of squash bugs with a trap. How? Squash bugs tend to gather on the underside of wooden boards or logs at night. So you can set some bait for trapping them. For this purpose, you can place a shingle during the evening. You most possibly find a lot of squash bugs underneath it in the morning.
If you find some bugs, place the shingle onto a hard surface immediately and smash the bugs. Repeat this process daily until you remove all squash bugs from the crops.
You can easily remove all squash bugs by following the aforementioned methods for how to get rid of squash bugs. If all the methods listed above don’t work at all, you can use different pesticides to remove them.
Step 2: Prevention
After removing all squash bugs, you should take some steps to prevent their return. For this purpose, you can use bug repellents such as butternut, crookneck, and royal acorn.
Further, you should prevent the pests from finding shelter in your garden. So make your garden inhospitable for them. You should burn or dispose of all squash vines at the end of the season.
You can also use lay row covers to prevent your crops from squash bugs and other pests. These covers are an effective way to keep them away from the crops.