Squash Bugs

Asked July 18, 2014, 3:58 PM EDT

There are bugs on my squash. How should I get rid of them? Will the garlic and chilli pepper spray that I've been reading about do the trick? I'm in Nova Scotia, fwiw, and we all do organic gardening, we resort to chemicals only out of utter desperation. - Maggie

Outside United States integrated pest management fruits and vegetables insect issues gardening squash bugs horticulture

1 Response

Dear gardener,

During the growing season squash bugs may be present in all of their life cycle stages. For this reason, home remedies as well as commercial sprays are not likely to be very effective.

The best defense is prevention through good sanitation. Remove all plant debris at the end of the season to keep pests from over-wintering in the garden. Since the bugs are already in your garden, search your plants daily to find and destroy eggs, nymphs and adults. There is a good description of each stage at http://www.organicgardening.com/learn-and-grow/technique-organic-squash-bug-control

If you can rotate to a new bed next year, you might also try using floating row covers from the time that plants or seeds are set out. The edges of the row cover will need to be sealed with loose earth or some other method.

I hope this information is helpful.

Happy gardening,