Technique: Organic Squash-Bug Control

What’s the best way to protect your squash from squash bugs without spraying?

June 9, 2011

Squash bugs feed on all members of the cucurbit family, which includes cucumbers, melons, pumpkins, and summer and winter squash.

The adults overwinter in garden debris and begin laying eggs in early summer.

In the OG Test Garden, we reduce squash-bug numbers, and their damage, by killing their eggs before they have a chance to hatch.


Find the eggs


Squash bugs lay eggs on the undersides of leaves in evenly spaced groups.

Get in the habit of scouting your squash plants for the shiny, yellowish brown to reddish eggs.

Also, keep your eyes peeled for the small, light gray or green, wingless squash-bug nymphs, which suck on the plant's sap, causing the leaves to wilt, blacken, and die.



Squish the eggs

Kill the squasheggs by gently rubbing them back and forth with your fingers, making sure you don't damage the leaf.

Squash-bug nymphs are also often present near squash-bug eggs.

If you see any squash-bug nymphs, be sure to squish them, too.

Check out our Growing Guide for more help with your squash.




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