Saturday, July 4, 2009

Squash Bugs

Here is another gross bug update. As I was walking through my garden yesterday morning I spotted this:

Not only were there one, but there were 4 groups of them mating. Nice. They are squash bugs. I have always joked that growing zucchini is like growing a weed. It's not very difficult to do. However, last year we were eating and enjoying our zucchini when I noticed this:

There were hundreds and hundreds all over the plant. I couldn't believe it. The next day my zucchini plant was completed wilted, and it took just a few more days until it completely died. The little critters were all over. Thank goodness we'd already had our share of zucchini that year.
However, this year I've been eyeing the zucchini I'm going to pick any day when I saw the aduts mating. I quickly did a search online for any organic way to get rid of them. A couple of suggestions were to put a board next to the plant. The next morning they will all accumulate under the board and you can quickly try to squash them, or throw them in a bucket of soapy water. Most online articles stated that it was always difficult to find or kill all the bugs so it is sometimes a worthless battle. I turned over the leaf and saw some eggs. I wasn't willing to risk it. While I try to grow things as organically as I can this called for drastic measures.
I'm pregnant and can't deal with insecticides so I got my trusty husband. I pointed to the insecticide powder I have in the garage. First we tried to kill what we could, then I had him apply it with a paintbrush I always keep in the bag on all stems, leaves (bottom and top). I also had him go to the cabbage because even though a few posts ago I said I didn't have cabbage worms I saw the moths flying around the garden, and I saw some eggs. I'll just make sure I wash my veggies good. Most of the insecticide will be gone by then anyways, but I'll make sure to wash and soak the veggies 3 or 4 times before we eat them.
Today, go to your garden, check pumpkins, summer squash, fall squash plants, and any kind of squash-like veggies to make sure you don't have them on your plants. They will totally demolish them.

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