Squash bugs are showing in numbers now on leaves of squash and associated vegetation akin to pumpkins, melons, and cucumbers.
Nymphs hatch from eggs laid on the underside of leaves close to the crown of the plant.
Nymphs are inexperienced and purple, about 1/8” lengthy and seem clustered in teams at first. As they become adults by 5 instars (phases) they disperse themselves on the vegetation.
Grownup Squash bugs are grayish brown, with brief orange stripes across the fringe of the laborious exoskeleton. The adults emit a foul odor solely when crushed, not like their relative the stink bug, which is able to emit a foul odor when disturbed or crushed.
Nymphs and adults have sucking mouthparts and feed on leaves and fruit. They could closely injury vegetation when infestation is excessive and attacked vegetation could wither and die.
Squash bug adults overwinter in particles akin to leaves, wooden piles, lumber, and rocks in and close to the backyard. The very best technique for management is sanitation. Take away previous cucurbit vegetation after harvest and take away particles that they could overwinter underneath. Observe crop rotation to scale back populations.
Choose off adults and nymphs and drop them in a can of soapy water. Choose off and destroy eggs discovered on the undersides of the leaves close to the bottom of the plant.
Place wood boards or items of cardboard all through the backyard and test underneath them each morning. Destroy any squash bugs discovered. Use sticky tape or a hand vac to select them up, or drop them right into a can of soapy water.
Use a trellis for vining cucurbits to scale back infestations from the bottom. Plant resistant varieties akin to butternut, zucchini, spaghetti, and acorn squash.
Oils and cleaning soap sprays are best solely on the smallest nymphs. They are going to be discovered underneath leaves close to the bottom of the plant the place it’s troublesome to direct the sprays. Neem and oil merchandise shouldn’t be used at temperatures above 85°F.
Chemical pesticides usually are not very efficient at killing grownup squash bugs.
Pheromone traps particular for squash bugs could also be useful. They entice adults and lure them so they can not get away.
Row covers might also be used, however pollination must be executed manually, as row covers will exclude the pollinators as nicely.