garden pests

Asked June 5, 2020, 8:44 AM EDT

Our squash, zucchini, pumpkin and cucumber crops suffered dearly last year from squash bugs. And our eggplant didn't stand a change against the flea beetle. We have a 2000sq ft garden with a little bit of everything. I'm trying to get ahead of the bugs this year. I've heard great things about Surround WP. Your thoughts on that? And where can I get it? I've looked at Southern States and Tractor Supply, but they don't carry it.

Carroll County Maryland

2 Responses

Hi-
Here are our two pages on these pests which offer prevention and management options.
https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/squash-bug-vegetables
https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/flea-beetle-vegetables

Both pests must be controlled early in the season. One good tip for hand-picking squash bug eggs and nymphs is to wrap duct tape around your fist, sticky side out, and touch your hand to the pest. Early, significant flea beetle feeding can stunt plants for the entire season. The organic insecticides are somewhat effective but protection with floating row cover material or insect screening mesh is the best way to prevent injury.

Surround has been fairly effective in controlling flea beetle in eggplant.
https://extension.umd.edu/learn/examining-organic-control-flea-beetles-eggplant

It should be applied 2-3 times in the first week to get a good coating and then needs to be re-applied after strong storms. Search online and you will see several suppliers of 25 lb. bags (and maybe smaller sizes). Shipping costs can cost more than the product! Wash all parts of your sprayer very well after use and shake the sprayer to agitate the solution during spraying to reduce clogging risk.
Jon

Definitely worth trying surround for squash bug management.