Guineas eat squash bugs?

Discussion in 'Guinea Fowl' started by hawcer, Aug 29, 2011.

  1. hawcer

    hawcer Out Of The Brooder

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    My brother had his own organic garden this year and all was going well until the squash bugs took over. Will Guineas eat these little pests? He doesn't want to use pesticides, so I recommended to get some Guineas....but I don't know if they will eat them or not.

    A squash bug looks to be in the "stink bug" family. The smaller ones will be gray and the older ones are a darker brownish color.

    He does have a handful of chickens too...so the Guineas shouldn't be all that hard to add into the flock.
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2011
  2. RedheadErin

    RedheadErin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I wish someone would answer this. I had heard the same thing. Not that I need any more problems or anything . . . . .
     
  3. BrattishTaz

    BrattishTaz Roo Magnet

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    I'm not really familiar with guineas. I would think they would though. I have seen several posts mentioning how much their chickens love squash bugs.

    Sorry I can't be more helpful. Have you tried using the search function? Just search "squash bugs". I know I've seen the topic posted before.
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2011
  4. tomingreeneco

    tomingreeneco Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Squash bug larva overwinter in the soil and emerge from the soil in early spring. If you plant your squash a little latter in the year they will go somewhere else when they come out because your squash has not germinated yet (They usually go right from the soil to the host plant). This is where the guineas come in. If you have them (guineas) they can "pick off" any squash bugs coming into yard from your neighbors yard. So to answer your question, yes they can help but only if the squash seeds are planted at the right time. A floating row cover can also be a big help against squash bugs ( if you want to know how to use them let me know).
     
  5. Tracydr

    Tracydr Chillin' With My Peeps

    Floating row will help with squash vine borers. Not with squash bugs. It keeps the SVB moth from flying in and laying eggs. The squash bugs are ground dwelling so the row covers won't really work.
    Because they are stink type bugs, I'm not all that sure guineas will eat them. I did use DE this year with success, though. Just have to pick off adults and dust heavily the base and undersides of the plants, it will kill the little juveniles as they hatch. Also need to squish the eggs on a daily basis and never get behind.
    I only saw two or three adults last summer and started the DE. Same with the cuke beetles so I think the DE worked.
    The year before I tried hand picking, no DE and had thousands.
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2011
  6. tomingreeneco

    tomingreeneco Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Floating row covers can help with both. The key is to plant your crop later in the season after they have emerged from the soil (If you normally plant on June 1, try June 14th or latter). The insects then leave your yard in search of other crops. Plant your squash and cover with a floating row cover. Remove in a couple weeks and thin the plants, then put the row cover back down. When the plants start to show blossoms remove the cover. Your plants should now be very healthy and if attacked by the insect should at least be able to produce a crop before they succumb to them. I have a degree in AG from Penn State and we teach this method all the time and it works! Does it work 100% of the time, no. Probably about 80-85%.
     
  7. ColbyNTX

    ColbyNTX Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 2, 2009
    Woods, TX
    Quote:If we wait to plant until June 14th here in Texas then you wont get anything to grow unless you water 3 times a day. [​IMG] Our squash goes in the ground in March.
     
  8. tomingreeneco

    tomingreeneco Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You have to know your planting times and then plant a little later. I just gave an example.
     
  9. Kassaundra

    Kassaundra Sonic screwdrivers are cool!

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    My chickens eat squash bugs, I have no idea about guineas, but they are supose to eat more bugs then chickens. [​IMG] I hand picked this year well I say picked I squished, I did try soap water, and tobacco water both just made them move more where you could squish better. A hand held vacume worked great on the clusters of nymphs. I won my squash bug war this year, my squash plants grew and produced until killing frost got them, and by the end of the season there were almost none left.

    The biggest problem w/ using chickens (or guineas I would imagine) to control them is the chickens will eat the squash and trample all over the plants. I have read several companion plants will help repel them the ones I can remember off the top of my head are rat tail radish, old fashioned vining petunias, and I believe nastursiums. I have not tried it yet, but plan on interplanting them in my squash next year.
     
  10. flgardengirl

    flgardengirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sunny side up :)
    I have seen both the guineas and the chickens eat squash bugs. The guineas go looking for bugs on the plants whereas the chickens just eat them if they happen to see them. I have one buff orp girl who is in love with hot peppers so is therefore banished from the garden now lol. You can take a cup of soapy water out and knock the squash bugs from the plants into the soapy water and they die right off. Of course I wouldn't feed them to the chickens after that. You could try throwing a few down and see if they eat them for you instead of putting them in the soap water though.
     

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