The Rockdale Gardener

Gardening Posts From Rockdale Cooperative Extension

Squash Insects that Eat your Squash!

squash bug; University of Minnesota

The squash bug feeds on leaves causing them to wilt. Photo credit http://www.extension.umn.edu/garden/insects/find/squash-bugs/

This is a squash bug. Squash bugs have piercing-sucking mouthparts that they use to suck the sap out of leaves. Their feeding causes yellow spots that eventually turn brown . The feeding also disrupts the flow of water and nutrients, which can cause wilting. Try spraying them off with a strong stream of water. Squash any egg masses you see on the underside of the leaves. If this fails then any insecticide labeled for vegetables will kill this insect.

Squash vine borers are more commonly what kills squash by tunneling inside of vines. These are hard to kill once inside the stem. You can bury squash stems or spray.

squash vine borer university of Minnesota

Squash vine borers lay eggs on squash stems. Photo credit http://www.extension.umn.edu/garden/insects/find/squash-vine-borers/

squash vine borer arkansas 2

The Squash vine borer larvae tunnel inside of squash stems killing the plant. Photo Credit http://www.extension.umn.edu/garden/insects/find/squash-vine-borers/

In my own garden I plant squash in stages. Plant a few in May, a few in June and a few in July.  This way I always have some getting ready to produce even if something comes along and kills some during the season. And you can extend your growing season.

In my own garden I do not spray insecticides. I try to pick the critters off by hand or wash them off with a strong stream of water.

Read more here http://apps.caes.uga.edu/gafaces/?public=viewStory&pk_id=5762