30 August 2013, by gj
Although prevalent in many gardens, we never had squash bugs before.
It was only recently in fact that I remarked to Mandolin how lucky we have been not to have them, or worse, squash vine borers.
I guess I spoke too soon.
It was that same day that these showed up, as if they were called in.
To be honest I wasn’t sure what they were, so turned to my favorite gardening group on Facebook for an ID.
It was almost immediate, and all the comments were emphatic.
Apparently these are the young nymphs, that will eventually lay their eggs on the undersides of the squash leaves.
The tip of the squash bug iceburg.
So following what I do know and the instructions of my fellow gardeners, I hunted each one down and squished them.
Gross? Yes. Necessary? Again yes.
I did also carefully spray the undersides of the leaves with some diluted neem oil, avoiding all the flower areas so as not to hurt the good guys.
Although all seems well, we will keep a close eye on the leaves from now until frost.
Never trust a squash nymph, apparently they like to hide and sneak up on you later.
Name: Anasa tristis or Squash Bug
Victims: Squash and its relatives, melons and cucumbers
Damage: Adults suck fluids from the fruit. This in turn damages the leaves and in extreme cases can kill the plants.
Your weapons: Prevent damage by squishing the bugs or picking them off. If needed, Neem oil will help kill them. Carefully watch for any eggs and remove them.
As with all pests, keeping the garden clean of dead and damaged plants and leaves is a good preventative action to take.
Plus, it makes your garden look better… which in turns makes you a happier gardener.