The dreaded squash bug.

catjac1975

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THE DREADED SQUASH BUG. It is early in the season. I answered a question about the squash bug for someone else. So I thought I would share my longwinded approach. This is what works for me. It took a long time for me to work out organic means to even grow squash. This is what I have learned . A rambling bit of facts. I use a lot of compost and truckloads of leaves. I used to mulch my squash with leaves. All that did was make the population of SB explode. That gave them a perfect hiding and breeding place. I use leaves for compost but no longer to mulch my cucurbits. I use horse and chickens manure fertilizer. I mention this because the commonly held belief in organics is that robust plants are not attractive to insects. It took a long time to lower the population of squash bugs. I find using grass clippings for my plants keeps the weeds down and does not create the problem that leaves did. I use only organic insecticides . And rarely. I occasionally have to use BT for various larvae on corn and broccoli. But not every year even. I do not ever plan to eliminate every insect, even if if is a bad one. I go under the philosophy that everything has to eat. If you eliminate one in the chain you will create an imbalance. If I see ladybug larva and praying mantis egg casings I keep them in a safe place in my garden. I feel as if the most important thing that I do for insect control is let my chickens forage in my vegetable garden all winter. They are out there right now scratching and eating. I propose that they are devouring larvae hiding in the soil. Scientifically proven? Nope. Just applying my cursory knowledge of science and common sense. And it seems to work for me. Another important thing to note. Vining cucurbits seem to be less attractive to the squash bug. Growing them on a fence keeps mine free of pests. The ones they seem to like the best are bush type yellow squash and zucchini. Here is what I have found out. Timing seems to be the solution for these types. (This applies to the vine borer pest too.) I plant my home grown squash seedlings out in peat pots. At the same time I direct sow seeds of the same squash, and again a few weeks later. If I have time I like to seed 3 times at different intervals. I pull out the earlier plants if they appear stricken. If they have insects on them I feed the whole plant to the chickens. They never get to the plants of each generation, usually just one planting. One more invader is the yellow cucumber beetle. Lately I have not had a big problem. But, what they do, is weaken the seedling for an increase in disease. Any organic product seems to work on these. Hope this helps. However trial and error makes the best gardener.
 

YourRabbitGirl

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THE DREADED SQUASH BUG. It is early in the season. I answered a question about the squash bug for someone else. So I thought I would share my longwinded approach. This is what works for me. It took a long time for me to work out organic means to even grow squash. This is what I have learned . A rambling bit of facts. I use a lot of compost and truckloads of leaves. I used to mulch my squash with leaves. All that did was make the population of SB explode. That gave them a perfect hiding and breeding place. I use leaves for compost but no longer to mulch my cucurbits. I use horse and chickens manure fertilizer. I mention this because the commonly held belief in organics is that robust plants are not attractive to insects. It took a long time to lower the population of squash bugs. I find using grass clippings for my plants keeps the weeds down and does not create the problem that leaves did. I use only organic insecticides . And rarely. I occasionally have to use BT for various larvae on corn and broccoli. But not every year even. I do not ever plan to eliminate every insect, even if if is a bad one. I go under the philosophy that everything has to eat. If you eliminate one in the chain you will create an imbalance. If I see ladybug larva and praying mantis egg casings I keep them in a safe place in my garden. I feel as if the most important thing that I do for insect control is let my chickens forage in my vegetable garden all winter. They are out there right now scratching and eating. I propose that they are devouring larvae hiding in the soil. Scientifically proven? Nope. Just applying my cursory knowledge of science and common sense. And it seems to work for me. Another important thing to note. Vining cucurbits seem to be less attractive to the squash bug. Growing them on a fence keeps mine free of pests. The ones they seem to like the best are bush type yellow squash and zucchini. Here is what I have found out. Timing seems to be the solution for these types. (This applies to the vine borer pest too.) I plant my home grown squash seedlings out in peat pots. At the same time I direct sow seeds of the same squash, and again a few weeks later. If I have time I like to seed 3 times at different intervals. I pull out the earlier plants if they appear stricken. If they have insects on them I feed the whole plant to the chickens. They never get to the plants of each generation, usually just one planting. One more invader is the yellow cucumber beetle. Lately I have not had a big problem. But, what they do, is weaken the seedling for an increase in disease. Any organic product seems to work on these. Hope this helps. However trial and error makes the best gardener.
Pour a spray on a home squash bug and fill the bottle with water and apply a small amount of liquid Castile soap to a spray bottle. Throughout the morning, spray the plants involved and direct the spray to the base of the plant and the base of the floor
 

ducks4you

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THE DREADED SQUASH BUG. It is early in the season. I answered a question about the squash bug for someone else. So I thought I would share my longwinded approach. This is what works for me. It took a long time for me to work out organic means to even grow squash. This is what I have learned . A rambling bit of facts. I use a lot of compost and truckloads of leaves. I used to mulch my squash with leaves. All that did was make the population of SB explode. That gave them a perfect hiding and breeding place. I use leaves for compost but no longer to mulch my cucurbits. I use horse and chickens manure fertilizer. I mention this because the commonly held belief in organics is that robust plants are not attractive to insects. It took a long time to lower the population of squash bugs. I find using grass clippings for my plants keeps the weeds down and does not create the problem that leaves did. I use only organic insecticides . And rarely. I occasionally have to use BT for various larvae on corn and broccoli. But not every year even. I do not ever plan to eliminate every insect, even if if is a bad one. I go under the philosophy that everything has to eat. If you eliminate one in the chain you will create an imbalance. If I see ladybug larva and praying mantis egg casings I keep them in a safe place in my garden. I feel as if the most important thing that I do for insect control is let my chickens forage in my vegetable garden all winter. They are out there right now scratching and eating. I propose that they are devouring larvae hiding in the soil. Scientifically proven? Nope. Just applying my cursory knowledge of science and common sense. And it seems to work for me. Another important thing to note. Vining cucurbits seem to be less attractive to the squash bug. Growing them on a fence keeps mine free of pests. The ones they seem to like the best are bush type yellow squash and zucchini. Here is what I have found out. Timing seems to be the solution for these types. (This applies to the vine borer pest too.) I plant my home grown squash seedlings out in peat pots. At the same time I direct sow seeds of the same squash, and again a few weeks later. If I have time I like to seed 3 times at different intervals. I pull out the earlier plants if they appear stricken. If they have insects on them I feed the whole plant to the chickens. They never get to the plants of each generation, usually just one planting. One more invader is the yellow cucumber beetle. Lately I have not had a big problem. But, what they do, is weaken the seedling for an increase in disease. Any organic product seems to work on these. Hope this helps. However trial and error makes the best gardener.
I dunno if I can do all of those things, but maybe plant consecutively and pull and burn any infected. Lost my hens, maybe chickens in the future, but I still have to fix the coop.
 

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