Zucchini & squash pest

Asked August 1, 2017, 11:21 AM EDT

Please help me, I'm at my wits ends with this frustrating problem. I hope you can help me. Last year was the first time I planted zucchini & squash. I had a problem I never saw before (photo attached). About 4 wks or so after planting I find what looks like gold balls (eggs?) on the plant, on top or underside of leaf. A week or 2 later, I see the bugs. They look like tiny spiders with black legs, then they turn into a bug. There are about 30-50 of them on one plant. They start eating the plant & in a few weeks it start dying. The zucchini also do not come to full term, they rot on the vine. Conditions: I Miracle Grow when first plant & then every 2 weeks twice and then if the plant looks like it needs a boost. Planted in full sun. Use soaker hose to water daily unless it rains. & occasionally water leaves. Planted in excellent soil with good drainage. I mulch around plants.

Harford County Maryland

1 Response

The gold balls on your leaves are the eggs of squash bugs. The spider-like insects are the young nymphs. Please see our profile on squash bugs and look at the prevention and control methods. This is a very common pest of squashes, cucumbers, and melons. http://extension.umd.edu/growit/insects/squash-bug

Next year, cover your plants with floating row cover as soon as you plant. Remove the row cover once the plants start to flower. Neem oil or insecticidal soap is effective when sprayed directly on the nymphs. There is more information on using floating row covers on the following page: http://extension.umd.edu/sites/extension.umd.edu/files/_images/programs/hgic/Publications/GE004_Floa...