Bugs on squash

General    None Given

A friend of mine sent me a picture of some bugs on her squash plant, it looks to me like the squash or pumpkins bugs but instead of being the gray brown or brown they are white and green, are they the same thing?

Posted by: Kelli (2 points) Kelli
Posted: July 22, 2013


Yes, these are squash bugs. They hatch as tiny little light grey babies, then molt through 4 or 5 development periods until they are adult squash bugs. This appears to me to be the 3rd instar of development. It's important to keep them eradicated as early as possible, as they will multiply very quickly and decimate a squash planting if left unchecked. Daily checks for patches of small dark red/brownish eggs on the surface or underside of the squash leaves (remove the eggs) will help keep them under control. They are also easy to kill as hatchlings, as they cluster together and don't move quickly.

Posted by: Dean Hudson (7 points) Dean Hudson
Posted: July 23, 2013

Kelli commented,
Thank you very much!!
over 10 years ago.

Do not--I repeat--do not let these little buggers get out of control! They will devastate your beautiful squash plants. They lay eggs and will be back next season to wreak havoc again if you don't get them gone soon.

Hand pick them if you can. Also Neem Oil can be sprayed to keep them at bay, but even then, they can overcome that. I have resorted to Sevins and that will knock them down a notch. These little stinkers literally are stinkers--they have a smell just like a stink bug. I shudder at the sight of them and have a heck of a time when they show up on my squashes. I have uprooted some of the prettiest squash plants just to burn them and kill the eggs and bugs on them. There is no other way. They must be destroyed by either carting the plants off in plastic bags to keep the critters contained, or by burning. Don't compost them whatever you do.

I had never heard of these things until two years ago when I noticed my squash and zucchini were suffering. I have bad vision, so I cold not see the little culprits until I got down real close, and then I could smell them! AGH!

They say Prolific Straightneck Squash is the only variety they don't bother with--oh, and Butternuts.

Posted by: Shi1 (8 points) Shi1
Posted: July 25, 2013

I had squash bugs over 5 years ago, when I grew one of the round summer squash (Eight Ball or Ronde de Nice) and planted the seedling very early. I caught the bugs (pail of soapy water), destroyed the egg clusters, and learned to recognize the bugs at every stage of growth. They overran the poor squash plant and I spent a lot of time dealing with them that year. I have not had them since. The reason they've not returned is possibly luck, or because I planted later (after May 1 instead of March 15), or because I chose different varieties. I've heard that they have different preferences in different areas. I've grown Benning's Green Tint, Papaya Pear, and probably a few others at that same location, with no bug problems. It's a community garden plot, so if any of my neighbors had squash bugs, I would probably have had them, too -- and I've had neighbors who let their produce rot in the garden from Sept. to May, providing lots of opportunities for overwintering pests.

I also compost everything from my gardens, and have had no recurrence of squash bugs from the compost.

Posted by: Tanya in the Garden (128 points) Tanya in the Garden
Posted: July 25, 2013

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