Let me share with you our squash bug control plan. I am not, I repeat NOT going to be overrun again this year by squash bugs!
Young squash plants (especially zucchini and pumpkin) are generally more susceptible to damage by this pest, and if you don’t squish the squash bugs, young plants will die. They say that “larger plants are more tolerant, though squash bug control may still be necessary”. I disagree. All curcurbits (squash family) can be taken down, even the largest ones if there enough squash bugs feeding. Once plants have been attacked by these pests, their leaves may become spotted and begin turning brown. The biggest sign from a short distance is wilting. Once that starts both the vines and leaves turn black and crunchy.
The biggest weapon in our arsenal of squash bug control is soapy water. It kills squash bugs on contact. See Recipes for Organic Insecticide Sprays/ for the recipe.
And finally, plant things like alyssum, calendula, daises, dill, fennel, and mustard greens near your squash, melons, and cucumbers. Their small, pollen-and nectar-rich flowers will attract the Tachnid fly, an especially beneficial beneficial insect that preys on squash bugs.
And for those of you who would like to know more about organic methods to control here’s an article from ATTRA that I found very helpful.
Farmers in Oklahoma and Arkansas are recording record numbers of squash bugs. They are the ones who are the most concerned with the current stink bugs tomatoes problem, but it is something that should be concerning fruit farmers all over the United States. The stink bug has very few natural predators and is finding plenty to eat, as a result their rates are increasing. The increase in insects means that the insect is going to continue to spread until it ranges across the entire United States.