Have you used nasturtiums to repel squash bugs?

Discussion in 'Gardening' started by Kryden, Apr 2, 2017.

  1. Kryden

    Kryden Just Hatched

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    For the last couple of years we've had a serious squash bug problem. I've seen them devastate spaghetti squash but they didn't stop there! They moved on to reek havoc on the zucchini, cucumbers, & cantaloupes! It was incredibly frustrating. I spent a lot of time checking the bottoms of leaves to destroy their eggs but in the end, the squash bugs won. On the bright side, we did get a LOT of cucumbers before they succumbed to little devils. I recently came across a blog post that said nasturtiums were good counter measure for squash bugs. We don't use pesticides in our garden & I'm a big fan of companion planting so I got some seeds and am going to give nasturtiums a try this year. Have you used them in your garden? Do you know of any other plants or natural methods that keep squash bug numbers down?
     
  2. Louise Waffles

    Louise Waffles Chillin' With My Peeps

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  3. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    My chickens won't touch a squash bug (or a potato bug). but, I had some success controlling them last year by completely saturating the soil at the base of the plants. Those squash bugs hang out in the soil, and came crawling up out of the soil onto the plants where they could easily be knocked into a container of warm soapy water. Diligent attention several times/day, especially in the morning greatly reduced the population.
     
  4. Kryden

    Kryden Just Hatched

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    I think that's the article where I first read about the nasturtiums. I really hope they help. I primarily use sunflowers, marigolds, and petunias in the garden. This year I'm adding alyssum & nasturtium. I'd love to have some more guineas. I don't know if they would eat squash bugs or not, but they eat all sorts of other unpleasant stuff. Unfortunately, they would eat the beneficial stuff too though.
     
  5. Kryden

    Kryden Just Hatched

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    Same here with the chickens. Ours don't have garden access but I tossed some leaves that had a few squash bugs into their pen. They steered clear of them. I do knock them off into soapy water a few times a day. I got quite a lot of them that way, but there were just so many. I'm really hoping the nasturtium does well & will help.
     
  6. Louise Waffles

    Louise Waffles Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I read about but have not tried putting a board at the base of plants. The squash bugs will congregate on the underside. In the evening or morning you flip it over and smash them. Aso, icicle radishes are supposed to repel them.
    I also read those flies that kill them also kill monarch caterpillars, so that's sad news.
     
  7. drewskimac

    drewskimac Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mine also will not touch a squash bug. Maybe the weird color of them? I have to admit, they are really cool looking creatures, though very devastating. The best way I've found was mentioned by lazy - pick them by hand, get them early on and they won't get so bad. A few doesnt hurt the plants, just get what you can. Just make sure you are checking ALL of your plants, even different species. If you are picking squash bugs from your squash and they seem to "just increase in numbers" you may find that they've been breeding on your cucumbers while you had your back turned focusing on the squash. Telling you this from personal experience.
     
  8. Louise Waffles

    Louise Waffles Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I thought my ducks & chickens were eating them, but probably not, reading that no on else's will eat them. Maybe inspecting them?
    I've found the eggs on the curcurbits and tomato plants leaves. So you do need to check everything. I'm going to try the board thing this year, and see how that works. I'd love to do companion planting, but not sure how to pull it off in the little space I have.
     
  9. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    I have not found that companion planting does a bit to deter pests. I think they laugh at our attempts to repel them. "Hey, Randy, come check out these tender squash leaves. I just love the ambience of this place, they even have flowers here!!!"
     
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  10. Louise Waffles

    Louise Waffles Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yea. I think you're right. So, when I find the eggs on leaves, would it be bad for the plant if I just cut the leaf off? Or better to scrape them off? The curcurbits are my very favorite, and I have some really nice cucuzza squash, Armenian cucumbers and Korean melons I'm looking forward to...I don't want to squash bugs to ruin it this year. :(
     

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