I have given a name to my pain, and that name is squash bug. If you aren't familiar with squash bugs, they are angry, petty little pests that are just trying to get revenge by eating, and killing the squash plants in your garden. They are mad that they have a dumb uninspired name and they insist that in this world of political correctness we call them what they really are "Squash Insects." The term bug is just insulting to them.
|Blurry image of squash bugs. It's hard to take pictures of the bugs as they curry away at the first sign of movement|
You might think that I am anthropomorphizing a little too much but trust me, these bugs are out for me and trying to voice their displeasure with a vengeance. The sad part is that it is the innocents that have to suffer. My zucchini is taking the brunt of their abuse, but they also killed two of our pumpkin plants and are trying to take out my acorn squash as well.
|Plant damaged by squash bugs|
I found some good information on squash bug at this link
managed by the Colorado State University extension. It gives good information on the life cycle of the squash bug and it lists some methods for getting rid of the pests.
Squash bugs are very hardy so the best way to get rid of them is to check your squash leaves early in the spring. You will see patches of eggs on the underside. I just squish the eggs and wipe them off of the leaves.
|Squash bug eggs on the underside of leaf|
If you don't catch them early, one of the best methods I have used to get rid of them is to lay small boards or cardboard at the base of your squash plants. Many of the bugs will hide under the boards at night. If you check under the boards early in the morning you can kill them using organic squishing methods.
According to the CSU article you can also spread Diatomaceous earth/pyrethrins applications around the base of the plan. This is an organic method, but I can't vouch for it as I haven't used it. There are also insecticides and pesticides that might work but I am not a fan of them as I want my bees to be safe.
What do you do to rid your garden of the vile squash bug?