Getting ahead of next year's squash bugs....

Discussion in 'Gardening' started by gladahmae, Aug 22, 2013.

  1. gladahmae

    gladahmae Songster

    May 17, 2012
    Benzie, MI
    So on gardenweb someone had suggested leaving a single squash plant when everything was done producing for the year and ripping out everything else. The idea/logic was that ALL of the remaining squash bugs would concentrate onto that plant and then you would have a very limited area in which to have to exterminate them.

    My question is, what do I do when I've got them on the one plant? Pesticides? Burn them? From what I've read, only the un-mated mature bugs will live through the winter to find a mate and lay eggs in the spring. I'm planning on having double the garden (at least) next year, and that will include probably 4x as many squash plants to potentially have to pick eggs off of next year.

    I'd like to avoid pesticides, since I like that I can get chemical-free produce from my garden, but these buggers are just killing my plants right now! I'd like to minimize next year's problem as much as possible
  2. redsoxs

    redsoxs Crowing

    Jul 17, 2011
    North Central Kansas
    I know what you mean - they were bad for me this year. I have hear that when they squash are done producing you should get black plastic garbage bags and pull the still living plants and put them in the bag and seal them up tight - cooks 'em good. For my part, I'd like top go out there with a flame thrower and roast the ground under the plants as well!
  3. Peaches Lee

    Peaches Lee Songster

    Sep 19, 2010
    I thought I heard that Praying Mantis will predate upon them, so next year I think I am going to try to find some of those to put an end to it. Crop rotation may help, but I'm not sure. I was even thinking about not planting any squash at all next year, which makes me sad because I love winter squash, but I hate the squash bugs destroying my garden.
  4. gladahmae

    gladahmae Songster

    May 17, 2012
    Benzie, MI
    I don't even mess around with winter squash! It's my poor zucchini that are taking the brunt of it! Last year I had zucchini and summer squash coming out my ears, and this year I'm lucky if I get 2 a week.
  5. Life is Good!

    Life is Good! Songster

    Apr 14, 2011
    suburbia Chicagoland
    I found planting the zucchini later than usual meant those early squash bugs had no where to go in my garden (so they left). I watched them fly over the fence to our neighbor's! Sorry....

    Then, much later, like 8/20, I started to see them. So I looked at EVERY leaf. Those leaves with eggs on 'em, I took off the plant (physically cut the leaf off the stem) and put those leaves in a black garbage bag. Sealed it tight for the night with a rubber-band. Left the bag hanging on a hook near the plants. So every morning for two weeks, I went out and did the same - removing ANY leaf with eggs on 'em.

    My bug population is very low. I do have a few that I obviously missed - but overall, not the masses that would have appeared should I have not done the above. I'm hoping that next year are fewer. The fact they didn't appear at all until this late in our season means that the later planting (or transplanting - about 2 or 3 weeks later than usual) must have held some of them at bay. Some, not all.

    Edited to add: for very very large leaves with eggs on them, I'd often just take a 'chunk' out of the spot where the eggs were located. Made the plants look a bit odd, but they grew just fine that way once the 'wound' healed around the edges. A kitchen knife repurposed for this activity helped. Although I need to paint the handle of the knife - it's currently black and I'm afraid I'll misplace it!
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2013
  6. bluebirdnanny

    bluebirdnanny Songster

    Feb 16, 2013
    Good advice here. I add to this sprinkling ground corn meal all over and under squash and potato plants. Supposedly they gorge themselves and blow up. The plants to which I did the following and the corn meal had very little to no damage this year.

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