Protecting Your Garden from Pests

by Mark Gold 04/04/2021

Image by wagrati_photo from Pixabay

If you have pumpkins or winter and summer squash in your garden, there is a chance that squash bugs will find their ways into your planter beds. Squash bugs are pests that can wreak havoc on your vegetables, especially winter squash and pumpkin. Their attacks are not limited to gourds, they also target cucumbers and melons. You can keep your vegetables safe from squash bugs if you prepare early.

How Do Squash Bugs Cause Damage?

When they feed, squash bugs pierce the tissue of the vegetable and drain the nutrients of the plant. They feast on vines, leaves, and fruit. Because the pierce plants in many places, it leads to the collapse of leaves and vines as they consume the sap inside. 

Their saliva also contains bacteria that are harmful to plants. The bacteria can cause the affected leaves to wilt and die. Additionally, adult squash bugs and nymphs sometimes carry the bacteria that cause the yellow vine disease. 

How to Control Squash Bugs 

  • Regularly inspect leaves. If you find eggs, remove them immediately.

  • Use companion planting strategies. Pairing squash plants with another crop can keep the bugs away from your vegetables without introducing chemicals.

  • Squash bugs gather under objects like tarps and boards. You can set these objects as bait in your garden, place them close to crops you want to protect. Remove them once they congregate under these objects. 

  • Mulch provides a hiding place for the squash bugs, especially during the colder months. Consider removing it and reduce the likelihood of an invasion next season. 

  • Insecticides can also be effective, check with a pest control professional or your local garden center for guidance on formulas and application procedures. The advantage of insecticides is that they can also control other pests.

Are you seeking a permanent way to rid of squash bugs in your garden? Consult a professional pest control company for comprehensive and lasting solutions in addition to these DIY options.

About the Author
Author

Mark Gold

Mark Gold has been a resident of Sonoma County for over 20 years. He moved here from Los Angeles after a career with his family's furniture business. Mark has two boys and they all still live in Northeast Santa Rosa . Both boys have been active in the Santa Rosa Central Soccer league as well as Junior and Senior Little League. Mark has been active as a coach of several of their teams. His boys now work: his oldest son is the Tasting Room Manager at Kenwood Vineyards and his youngest son was Director at Camp Wa-tum and now