Solving the Squash Bug dilemma...for good!

catjac1975

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So you hand pollinate? To me that's the issue with row covers with crops that require pollinators. From what i read the moth that lays the egg for the borer flies during the day, not at night so you need to keep them covered during the day when most pollinators are out.

This is the borer, not the bug, a different critter. In the south the borer has two generations a year. In the north there is only one generation. If you are far enough north and you time the planting right you may be able to avoid borer problems. Your extension office may be able to help you with that.

One year I tried delayed planting to avoid the squash bug. It looked successful. I mentioned this at the local Mom 'n Pop garden center and the owner said, yeah, no one is having squash bug problems this year. I tried it again the next year and nope, it did not work.
I no longer have a problem with SB and SVB which I attribute to good weeding and the chickens inn the garden.. As for row covers. I did not leave them on all season. When they were large I removed them for pollinating. That was quite some years ago. I swear by the chickens in the garden for the winter.
 

digitS'

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Without vine borer experience but there are both squash bugs and cucumber beetles here.

One recent year, the end sprinkler failed and several zucchini wilted a bit. Wow. The squash bugs moved in on those plants in a big way! Usually, they aren't too much trouble.

Contact sprays aren't very effective so I'm in agreement with @Ridgerunner . While Spinosad should kill them but it probably works better if it touches them, also.

What has worked is spraying pyrethrin. It's said that touching the bug is not necessary. The insecticide is a nerve poison and inhaled. It isn't persistent and the bug sometimes awakens from a nonlethal dose. I return to re-engage.

Yes. I do my best to spray under the leaves.

Steve
 

ducks4you

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I no longer have a problem with SB and SVB which I attribute to good weeding and the chickens inn the garden.. As for row covers. I did not leave them on all season. When they were large I removed them for pollinating. That was quite some years ago. I swear by the chickens in the garden for the winter.
That's the trick for me. If I let them free range in the garden, even beginning or end of season, Eva will chase them, then I will be hunting for birds, alive AND dead. I have a 4' x 6' "Peck n Play", but it is a bit of a pain to use. MIGHT use it this weekend before I plant. It isn't easy to remove the birds, but not impossible. Good thing I own a net.
It's pretty nice. I don't like the 6 aluminum pegs, BUT I could use tent stakes. A few years ago I used it and had a cat laying on top! If I use it, pictures will follow.
 

Redd Tornado

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SVB is the Bain of my garden existence. Sorry this is a long post, but this year I tried a 4 step approach.
First, I started the seedlings early. To get ahead of THEM. I have a high tunnel and live in the deep South. So early is January. I up potted as needed.
Second, I put my babies in raised beds - plastic garbage cans cut into thirds. I put lids under the rings, and filled with clean (Purchased) compost. (I usually use my own compost. But I was desperate. I mean really, how can you call yourself a gardener if you can't even grow zucchini...) I read that SVB lay their eggs in the soil climbs up the vine and gnaws its way into the vine. I wanted to make sure the bugs didn't winter over.
Three. I cut open the compost bags. I read at Clemson exchange that they use white mulch which confuses the bugs. I tucked the bag white side up into the beds. Cut a slit and planted the zucchini.
Four. Diatomaceous earth all over the vine. Repeatedly. After each rain and watering, using a cheep duster.
And this year I got zucchini. I can hold my head high now.
The SVB did get the plants in the end, but not before I got enough zucchini to put up and give away.
I'm going to do the same thing again but I think I will buy kaolin clay, from what I read it sticks better to the plant. And reduces heat stress by reducing the amount of UV rays or something like that.
I am going to direct seed winter squash this weekend and do it all again.
we will see what happens.
 

flowerbug

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SVB is the Bain of my garden existence. Sorry this is a long post, but this year I tried a 4 step approach.
First, I started the seedlings early. To get ahead of THEM. I have a high tunnel and live in the deep South. So early is January. I up potted as needed.
Second, I put my babies in raised beds - plastic garbage cans cut into thirds. I put lids under the rings, and filled with clean (Purchased) compost. (I usually use my own compost. But I was desperate. I mean really, how can you call yourself a gardener if you can't even grow zucchini...) I read that SVB lay their eggs in the soil climbs up the vine and gnaws its way into the vine. I wanted to make sure the bugs didn't winter over.
Three. I cut open the compost bags. I read at Clemson exchange that they use white mulch which confuses the bugs. I tucked the bag white side up into the beds. Cut a slit and planted the zucchini.
Four. Diatomaceous earth all over the vine. Repeatedly. After each rain and watering, using a cheep duster.
And this year I got zucchini. I can hold my head high now.
The SVB did get the plants in the end, but not before I got enough zucchini to put up and give away.
I'm going to do the same thing again but I think I will buy kaolin clay, from what I read it sticks better to the plant. And reduces heat stress by reducing the amount of UV rays or something like that.
I am going to direct seed winter squash this weekend and do it all again.
we will see what happens.
good luck! :)
 

Beekissed

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I no longer have a problem with SB and SVB which I attribute to good weeding and the chickens inn the garden.. As for row covers. I did not leave them on all season. When they were large I removed them for pollinating. That was quite some years ago. I swear by the chickens in the garden for the winter.
I never have weeds and my chickens are in the garden all fall and winter but my squash bug population last year was in the millions, I'm sure of it.

This year I'm just starting to see some and eggs on the leaves....but I've been putting the ducks in the garden come evening, leaving them overnight and through the morning of the next day these last two days. Definitely see them working the squash plants and also picking the bugs off my broccoli...got some kind of flea beetle working there. Haven't seen a single JB in the garden yet, though I saw a few on the zinnias in the front flower bed.

We'll see how the Ducks of Wrath help with the SB population. Vine borers I've been able to prevent with the use of vet wrap around the stems of my seedlings and removing it once the stems are tough and large.
 

Redd Tornado

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@Beekissed what is vet wrap?
And zinnias attract Japanese needle???? (Asks the girl that didn't know Mac and cheese was fattening until she was 27. Really)
 

Beekissed

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@Beekissed what is vet wrap?
And zinnias attract Japanese needle???? (Asks the girl that didn't know Mac and cheese was fattening until she was 27. Really)
Vet wrap is a bandage that is self adhering and sticks well even when wet...sort of a thin ACE wrap that sticks to itself. It stretches as the plant grows, but eventually you have to take it off to let the stem breathe.




And, yep, JBs LOVE zinnias and can chew them to bits....it's a great sacrifice crop....or an attractant, whichever way you look at it. Right now I have some JBs showing up on the zinnias in front of the house but none on those in the garden.

Here's my squash bug controls working on a squash plant as a team....

100_1834.JPG


A quick shot of the garden, starting to fill out....
100_1836.JPG
 

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