When your vegetable garden plants begin to finally start producing fruit, it can be rewarding and exciting watching the growth each day, picking and eating the vegetables. But when your zucchini and squash plants become infested with damaging squash bugs, you need to get rid of the bugs and their eggs as soon as possible to keep your plants safe. Here are three steps to help you accomplish this task.
Step One: Kill Off the Adults
Adult squash bugs feeding on your plants can stop your plant from producing and will eventually kill the plant, as they lay eggs which hatch more squash bugs to continue the destructive cycle. So it is first important to get rid of the adults before you tackle the rest of the problem.
Adult squash bugs tend to hide around the base of your plants, in and among dead leaves and any mulch you have surrounding your plants. For this reason, it is important to clear out the soil's around each of your plants to remove as many hiding spots as possible.
You can also hire a professional pest control service to apply an insecticide for killing off bugs around the base of your plants. Be careful that none of the insecticide is sprinkled on the blossoms, as many types of insecticides can kill honey bees as well as squash bugs.
Step Two: Pick Off Eggs
It can be tedious work looking under each leaf on your squash plants while looking for squash bug eggs, but it is important as each egg will hatch a new baby bug that will quickly grow to adulthood to lay even more eggs. When you discover a nearly-arranged cluster of bug eggs, roll up a length of duct tape with the sticky side facing out and press it onto the eggs to pull them off the leaf. This helps keep your leaves in tact and prevents them from tearing or your having to cut them from the plant.
Step Three: Eliminate Juveniles
The juvenile squash bugs from any recently-hatched eggs on your plants will have gray-colored bodies and black legs and will travel down the stem of the leaf to the base of your plants, where they will eat your stems, fruit, and other ares of your plants. The young squash bugs can be more destructive with their feeding to your plants than the adults, but they do not yet have their hard adult shell covering and can be killed easier.
Sprinkle food grade Diatomaceous Earth over the base of your plants where the juvenile bugs travel to to begin feasting. This ground-up diatom powder will stick to the soft bodies of the juveniles and puncture their skin to kill them from dehydration. Just as with the insecticides, be careful not to sprinkle this on the plant's blossoms because it can harm honey bees.
Use these steps to help you keep your plants safe from squash bugs. Contact an exterminating company, like Affordable Pest Control Inc, for more help.Share