Squash Bugs

Oh, I hate these suckers. Squash bugs. They nibble on the soft rinds of the zucchini and summer squash, leaving unsightly spots and, worse, can also cause the plant to wilt very suddenly. They hide their eggs on the underside of zucchini and summer squash leaves.

Squash Bug Eggs
They also put them on the stalks, just because they can. My baby patty pan squashes are in peril!
Squash Bug Eggs

This one stuck her eggs way down in a crevice where she thought I wouldn’t find them. Ha!

Squash Bug Eggs

Here’s one of those bad boys. This is the down side of using straw mulch to keep the weeds down… it provides a perfect place for these bugs to run and hide when I am on the warpath.
Squash Bug

I don’t particularly want to drench the entire garden in chemicals. My solution? Remove the eggs manually. It’s easy, but time consuming. Wrap some tape around your fingers and go over every leaf to get the eggs off. First I tried no-name, cheap brown packing tape (pictured here) since I thought it would be gentler on the leaves, but found it didn’t pick up eggs as well. I found a lot more success with clear Scotch packing tape. It doesn’t stick to the leaf, so don’t worry about that, but you do have to be aggressive. You have to push hard on the tape to get the eggs, and you will smash the leaf a little. The plant will recover from some leaf damage… it may not recover from the bugs.

Squash Bug Eggs

You can probably just pick the eggs off with a fingernail. I prefer to use the tape, because once I’m done I fold the tape over, trapping the eggs inside, ensuring there is no possible way they’re going to hatch (or if they do, there’s nowhere for the bug to go).

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