How do I get rid of squash bugs in my garden?

Asked January 12, 2015, 8:45 PM EST

I have been having problems with squash bugs for about three years.

Morrow County Oregon insect issues squash bugs lrk horticulture

1 Response

Are you having problems now or in the summer? Squash bugs overwinter as adults in sheltered places, such as under plant debris, around buildings, or under rocks, so right now that is where you will find them. When adults emerge in the spring, they will fly to growing cucurbit plants to feed and mate. Depending on where you are, females usually start appearing in gardens in early June and continue to lay eggs through midsummer. The most important times to control squash bugs are when the plants are young seedlings and when they are flowering. Squash bugs are less important to control later in the growing season. Adult squash bugs are difficult to kill. Depending on how many plants you have:

  • Remove nymphs and adults by dropping them into a pail of soapy water.
  • Crush eggs that are attached to the undersides and stems of leaves.
  • Trap squash bugs by laying out boards or pieces of newspaper. This works. Squash bugs will congregate under the boards at night, and then can be collected and destroyed.
  • Remove plant debris (basically you are removing places for them to hide).
For homeowners: Insecticides are normally not required to manage squash bugs. BUT, if you need a chemical product, carbaryl is OK. BUT READ LABEL AND INSTRUCTIONS, ESPECIALLY IF THERE ARE KIDS AND PETS AROUND.

I hope this info helps. I attached some pictures of squash bug adult and eggs so you make sure your identification is correct. If not, seek your local Cooperative Extension agent.