Squash bugs can be the most destructive insect pest of winter squash and pumpkins. Summer squashes are less frequently damaged, while cucumber and melon are rarely damaged by squash bug. Squash bugs gather, mate, and lay eggs as soon as the weather warms in late spring. I’ve got to admit, in small plantings, hand-picking can be very effective. Squash bugs often seek cover around the base of plants, so make sure the area is cleared of debris. Damage can be worse on plants that are mulched compared to those grown over bare soil. The area around the base of the plant is also a site where any insecticide application should be concentrated. A number of insecticides also effectively kill squash bugs. Look for products containing carbaryl or permethrin. But be sure to carefully follow the package directions.