The other day I was browsing through my garden, checking on the health and maturity of this crop and that when I flipped over a zucchini leaf and found these:
Which will soon hatch and grow into THESE:
I know that everything has a purpose-and I’m sure that something out there eats these critters, but I just don’t want them living on my squash plants, hatching their young and sucking the juice out of my squash leaves. . . I only have ONE regular zucchini planted and I want it to produce well.
(note: The squash bugs will kill sections of leaves and that can effect the growth of the plant, but they won’t necessarily kill the entire plant)
These eggs are stuck on to the leaves pretty well and aren’t easy to scrape off without damaging the leaf. I like to use the “tape” method to remove them. I grabbed a roll of packing tape, tore off a section and pressed it on to the leaf and eggs.
Now sometimes you’ll get the entire patch of eggs off, sometimes you’ll have to use a couple of different spots on the tape to get them all off. I find that the eggs placed right up against the veins of the leaf are really hard to get off-I did scrape a few of those off with a fingernail and then squish it on to the tape, or in one case removed a small portion of the egg.
You really need to check the back of every single leaf. I found about 5 different sets of eggs as well as these:
Squash Bugs Nymphs. This is the stage they go through after they hatch but before they turn into the full sized armor looking bugs. Luckily for me they like to hang out in little groups, so I just took out my trusty tape.
What I love about this method of removal is it is quick, easy, inexpensive and completely organic. Win!
I’ve checked the leaves for the last 2 days and don’t see evidence of any squash bugs returning. Luckily my other summer squash (the zuchetta trombonchino) are about 300 yrds away and don’t show any sign of infestation.
Have any of you had problems with squash bugs? What method do you use?