Q:

How do you control squash bugs?

A:

Quick Answer

Squash bugs can be controlled by placing diatomaceous earth around the base of plants and handpicking any visible eggs or bugs from the plant. Insecticide or soapy water can also be used to eliminate these insects.

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Full Answer

To remove squash bugs by hand, begin by examining the plant for mature bugs. Pick up the insects, and place them in a bucket of soapy water. Crush any visible eggs. To remove insects that are living at the base of the plant, remove the contaminated mulch, and place cardboard around the base of the plant. Cover the cardboard with a thin layer of straw or wood chips, and check the trap each morning. Throw the straw or wood chips away if bugs are present, then reset the trap.

If insecticide is used, begin the treatment as soon as squash bug eggs are detected, and reapply the insecticide when the eggs begin hatching. Typically, insecticide is applied at the beginning and end of June to reduce the amount of pesticide on mature crops. Soapy water can be used as an alternative to insecticide to effectively eliminate newly hatched squash bugs.

Diatomaceous earth is also an alternative to traditional insecticides. Remove any mulch or straw from the base of the plant, and sprinkle a liberal amount of the diatomaceous earth around each plant in the garden to eliminate the insects. Use row covers along with other treatments to eliminate squash bug infestations on young plants.

Learn more about Invasive Insects

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