30 Aug 4 Natural Ways to Squash Your Squash Bug Problem
They’re destructive and it can be devastating once they’ve found your squash crop, but have no fear- here are 4 ways to naturally get rid of squash bugs without spending money… or physically having to squish them (for our bug-loving and/or bug-phobic readers!)
1. Limit Ground Cover: The #1 tested and proven prevention of squash bugs is cutting down on ground cover, such as straw, mulch, etc. While bedding your garden is beneficial for holding the necessary moisture plants need, you’re also preparing a cozy little haven for squash bugs and many other pests to lay their eggs! Some gardeners have suggested laying down a tarp or some type of weed control fabric instead, but when the pest population is so strong even those do not do the trick.
- Try going a year without any ground cover and the weeks that you know you may not be able to water avidly, place a slow-feed watering jug or a drip line next to your plant to help keep your plants moist.
2. Plant Deterrents: There are several different plants than can help deter pests in the garden, especially those that have an odor to them. Those that work especially well on squash bugs are as follows:
- Marigolds (also helps to repel rabbits munching on your beans and peas!)
3. Remove them once you find them: Once you find a few, chances are that there are many more where that came from. Even if you have not seen the adult squash bug, take a peak under the leaves and you may just find rows of small, yellow eggs.
To remove them, simply take an old tooth brush and wipe the eggs and any form of the squash bug into a bucket of soapy water. The bugs are unable to escape the water with the soap on them (this is also effective for other insects, especially Japanese Beetles). Be sure to keep-up on this task regularly; their damage is quick and vast!
4. Plant a dummy squash: While all squash plants are good and you hate to spend time and energy on a plant that may or may not make it, this method should help distract feeding on all of your squash plants. In fact, the more squash you plant, the less harsh and detrimental the feeding will be per plant.
For best results, fertilize your soil beds with just one application of pesticide-free, insecticide-free and GMO-free HyR BRIX® Vegetable fertilizers before planting. The essential micro-nutrients in HyR RBIX® fertilizers are the key to starting your plants out strong and healthy early-on, making them less susceptible to feeding and other plant damage.