What is this bug on my pie pumpkin plant?
Client stopped in with the plant sample. About 2 months ago our 1st vine stared dying (acorn squash). We thought it was dried out because we had black landscaping fabric down. Slowly the other plants (other acorn squashes) and pumpkins started dying. What is happening? What do we do?
Lake County South Dakota
From this sample, I can see egg masses of the squash bug. Their eggs are orange/copper in color and laid in clusters on the undersides of the leaves in between the leaf veins.
These insects have piercing sucking mouthparts that they use to feed on the plant sap. This can weaken the plant, and large numbers of the bugs can kill young plants. At this point in the season, supporting overall plant health and physical removal of the bugs is probably the best bet.
These insects are hard to kill with insecticides, and insecticides should not be applied to blooms (as that will harm the bees that are needed for fruit set).
Additional info and photos can be found here: http://www.extension.umn.edu/garden/insects/find/squash-bugs/