Another Garden Pest – Squash Bugs

Just as the garden seemed to recover and started to flourish again I found some insect eggs on the back of pumpkin leaf. This one is easy to identify. Squash bugs started to take over the pumpkins and summer squash. Luckily the butternut and acorn squash had hard enough skin to resist the attack. When the bugs hatch they quickly latch on to the plant or fruit and suck the life out of it. They leave scabs on the fruit.

This leaf has a combination of the shiny copper colored eggs and black and silver, tiny baby bugs. They slowly grow, forming a harder brown shell. The biggest annoyance is these particular bugs are very intelligent. They hide when they see you coming and will run around the base of the plant where it’s hard to get at them. If you reach to the right, they round around to the left. If you reach to the left they run back the right again. It’s like chasing something around a tree and never catching it. That’s why there are no pictures of adult bugs, sorry.

How do you get rid of these little beasts when you aren’t using chemicals? Crushing every egg and bug with your fingers that you can find. Checking daily is the only way to stay ahead of it. Luckily the plants are very productive so the loss was minimal.