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Squash bug

By: Garden Gate staff
You many not see the 5?8-in. brown or gray adult squash bugs, as they like to hide during the day.

PHOTO: Courtesy of Whitney Cranshaw,
Colorado State University

problem solver

Squash bug Anasa tristis

IDENTIFICATION — You may not see the 5/8-in.-long brown or gray adult squash bugs, as they like to hide during the day. But you may spot the orange egg clusters in the photo or the damage done to your squash, pumpkins, cucumbers, watermelons and raspberries.

DAMAGE — Nymphs and adults suck juices from leaves, vines and fruit, and spread disease. Leaves develop pale green to yellow specks, which grow into larger brown patches, and finally die. Plants can quickly wither, turn black and die.

CONTROL — Rub off the egg clusters as soon as vines stretch in midsummer and pick off and destroy any adults or nymphs. Place boards around the plants for the adults to hide under, then dispose of the bugs in the trash. Squash bugs are hard to control with insecticides, though tachinid flies and wolf spiders are natural predators (and can be found in most gardens).

Published: Sept. 28, 2010
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