Over the past couple of weeks I’ve been having some serious problems in my garden. My zucchini and pumpkin plants have gone downhill… fast. I first noticed that the stems coming out of the ground looked crumbly. They were looking thin and they were coming apart at where the stem came out of the ground. Then the plants started to droop. Today I went to pick my pumpkin and noticed the same crumbly material coming out of the pumpkin. It had obviously been compromised. As I watered my garden I noticed some little nasty bugs running for their lives.
Here are pictures of my zucchini… post Squash Bugs : (
So I went searching on Swagbucks to see what I could find out.
This picture was taken from the Minnesota extension office.
I found a picture of the little buggers. Turns out they are Squash Bugs. They lay their eggs on, live on, and eat/destroy squash and gourd plants like pumpkins and zucchini. : (
There’s only one problem that I can see. That is they are only easy to get rid of only if you are extra vigilant. The Minnesota extension office suggests:
- Remove or knock off and kill nymphs and adults by dropping them into a pail of soapy water. This is particularly effective if only a few plants are affected. This can be challenging because squash bugs hide under leaves and move quickly when disturbed.
- Crush eggs that are attached to the undersides and stems of leaves.
- Trap squash bugs by laying out boards or pieces of newspaper. Squash bugs will congregate under the boards at night, and then can be collected and destroyed in the morning.
- Remove plant debris around the garden during the growing season to reduce the potential harbourage where squash bugs may hide. Clean up Cucurbita and other plant matter around the garden in the fall to reduce the number of overwintering sites.
The other suggestion they have is pesticide. I’m not keen on that. I was attempting to have a garden without any form of pesticide. That is a part of the benefit of growing your own at home. So I’d say my pumpkins and zucchini are out for this year. But I’ll be ready for the Squash Bugs next year! Bring it on Squash Bugs!