Apparently, Mother Nature decided that a late spring, seeds rotting in the soil and wet, humid weather that prevented the garden from growing as expected wasn't quite enough surprises for Maine gardeners this year. She decided to bless me with Squash Bugs, too.
In nearly 30 years of gardening, I have never encountered anything quite as horrifying as these creepy crawly bugs that look like a million tiny spiders on my summer squash and zucchini. They are, of course, the larvae of the squash bug (Anasa Tristis) getting ready to devour my plants.
Of course, I didn't catch them all at the larval stage. There are plenty of nymphs and adults around too. Add to that rows upon rows of eggs skillfully hidden on the undersides of the leaves and I'm not sure my summer squash can be saved.
Pesticides to Kill Squash Bugs
University sites, of course, recommend all natural methods of getting rid of squash bugs - you know like hand picking them. I've done that already as I clipped off infected leaves and bundled them all in a garbage bag.
Now its time to get rid of the rest of them. Both carbaryl (Sevin) and perethrin (Ambush) are reported to be effective against squash bugs. If you choose to use them, please follow the safety precautions on the label and avoid contact with your eyes or mucus membranes.
Always observe the appropriate number of days (usually 7 days to 2 weeks) before harvesting and eating vegetables treated with pesticides.
Until Next Time . . . HAPPY GARDENING!
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