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Squash bug season?

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Squash bug season?

Post  kamigh on 3/20/2015, 1:59 pm

I am just getting ready to start my squash seeds (probably a little late for my area but that's okay).  I am already dreading those awful little squash bugs Twisted Evil  that descend on my garden and give me the heebie-jeebies so that I don't even want to go out there until they are done their carnage.  I want to be proactive this year and do what I can to keep them at bay before they are EVERYWHERE.  I'm getting ready to order my Surround and BT and get a little dustbuster to suck them up, but I need to know around when they will show up.
I think I remember reading somewhere that they have two 'seasons' and if you can hold them off for those two finite periods your squash will probably be okay.   I didn't pay close enough attention to when I started seeing them last year, and I can't readily find any information about when they might show up.  Does anyone have an idea of when those little buggers typically show up in North Texas?????
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Re: Squash bug season?

Post  Popo on 3/22/2015, 8:48 pm

I saw some last year and sprinkled some diatomaceous earth on my squash plants and it seemed to help but the vine borer got to mine and devastated my squash and zucchinis plants. I think you are right about there being two seasons but I don't know what they are.
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Re: Squash bug season?

Post  Kelejan on 3/24/2015, 2:20 pm

Hello walshevak:

Is Layfayette in the Lower South Region? I have someone looking for a home.

Kelejan.
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Re: Squash bug season?

Post  Pepper on 4/12/2015, 9:48 pm

I have had my share of problems with vine borers ,just found this:
A second planting of summer squash made in early July will mature after adult borers have finished laying eggs.
from this article.

http://www.extension.umn.edu/garden/insects/find/squash-vine-borers/
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Re: Squash bug season?

Post  yolos on 4/13/2015, 11:50 am

@Pepper wrote:I have had my share of problems with vine borers ,just found this:
A second planting of summer squash made in early July will mature after adult borers have finished laying eggs.
from this article.

http://www.extension.umn.edu/garden/insects/find/squash-vine-borers/

Hello Pepper.  Hey I heard that about a late planting of squash to fool the SVB.  But I have also read where they only have one hatching of SVB in the north and here in the south we get a second hatching that may hit the late planted squash.  I don't know how accurate this statement is.  Let us know if the late planting works for you.
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Re: Squash bug season?

Post  Windmere on 4/13/2015, 12:28 pm

It's worth a try though...  you've got me thinking about a second planting.
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Two chemical free ideas

Post  Razed Bed on 4/13/2015, 1:15 pm

If you are able to do so, try spraying compost tea on the plant and also try growing the plants more vertically by placing tomato cages so the zukes grow upward and not outward.

I had quit growing all squash, because the bugs were everywhere, even in our house, and we could buy organic squash cheap enough.  I did not grow anything last year, taking a sabbatical, and I am hoping that this will work for us.  Compost tea seems to offer some amount of relief.  Another gardener from Growing Your Greens advised to use the tomato cages to keep as much of the plant off the ground. 

Of course, this could be a false hope, but we do not use any chemical products, even organic insecticides.

You can also try planting some flowers that attract their predators.  And, if you remove those awful sticky eggs before they can hatch, maybe you will enjoy some zukes. 

Good luck.  I hate those bugs, especially when they find their way into your bedroom in November.

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Re: Squash bug season?

Post  Windmere on 4/13/2015, 1:25 pm

I never did look up a picture of what these wicked creatures look like.



For some reason, I thought they looked different.  I saw these things all over the place last summer!  Sigh... live and learn.
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Re: Squash bug season?

Post  CapeCoddess on 4/13/2015, 3:00 pm

@Windmere wrote:I never did look up a picture of what these wicked creatures look like.



For some reason, I thought they looked different.  I saw these things all over the place last summer!  Sigh... live and learn.
Isn't that a photo of the squash vine borer?  I think squash bugs look different, like dark grey beetles almost.  I don't have squash bugs...yet.  But I'm very intimate with the borer. Mad

Squash bug

CC
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Re: Squash bug season?

Post  Windmere on 4/13/2015, 4:59 pm

@CapeCoddess wrote:
@Windmere wrote:I never did look up a picture of what these wicked creatures look like.



For some reason, I thought they looked different.  I saw these things all over the place last summer!  Sigh... live and learn.
Isn't that a photo of the squash vine borer?  I think squash bugs look different, like dark grey beetles almost.  I don't have squash bugs...yet.  But I'm very intimate with the borer. Mad

Squash bug

CC
CC....  Oh dear, I did not know there was a distinction.  Those squash bugs virtually swarmed my little area.  Sigh.....
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Re: Squash bug season?

Post  yolos on 4/13/2015, 5:36 pm

Windmere - The squash bugs finally found me last year.  They were all over my pumpkin vines.  I use a hand held vacuum to suck up the squash bugs.  They lay round yellow/gold eggs on the underside of the leaves.  Pretty easy to see if you turn the leaves over.  If you can get the eggs before they hatch, that will save you a lot of work.  Use the sticky side of tape to get the eggs off or I just cut part of the leaf off that has the eggs if there are enough leaves on the plant.  Some gardeners just squish them with their fingers (yuck).  The young squash bugs are a very light grey color.  I am sure there is some kind of insecticide used on them but because I always have bees swarming around my squash, I don't use it.
Squash Bug Eggs:


Squash Bug Nymphs - my nymphs were grey but I have seen others that are different colors.


Squash Vine Borers found my garden the first year I planted squash.  Squash Vine Borer is much more destructive.  They lay a small darkish brown/gold egg near the base of the squash and very hard to find.  The worm bores into the squash/zucchini stem at the base and destroys your squash/zucchini.  Last year I covered my squash with tulle and that worked well on both types of bugs.  But then I had to open the tulle up every morning and hand pollinate before going to work.  Maybe those squash/zucchini seeds you got this year will work great if you cover with tulle.

Squash Vine Borer Eggs

I should give credit to whoever took these pictures, but I saved them in a word document and did not list the person who put them on the web.  Bad me.
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Re: Squash bug season?

Post  Windmere on 4/13/2015, 6:50 pm

Thank you very much yolos.  Perhaps the Partenon variety will make things easier on us this year.
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Re: Squash bug season?

Post  Pepper on 4/13/2015, 8:48 pm

Well hello to you also yolos. happy hi You are probably right about the second hatch. I read this thread that morning ,looked up the info then posted. I forgot the article was from a northern source. Our best hope may be a green house.
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Re: Squash bug season?

Post  yolos on 4/14/2015, 4:02 am

@Pepper wrote:Well hello to you also yolos. happy hi You are probably right about the second hatch. I read this thread that morning ,looked up the info then posted. I forgot the article was from a northern source. Our best hope may be a green house.

Try tulle over hoops.  I know you tried it in the past, but I think your flip hoops may have had some openings.  Last year I did hoops and tulle and kept the SVB's and squash bugs away from the squash.  They did kill the pumpkins which were rambling around the garden.
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Re: Squash bug season?

Post  Pepper on 4/14/2015, 12:33 pm

Yep my flip tops were a BIG flop. I have considered a screen wire topper of some kind but the misses would have to self pollinate either way. She is about mid course with chemo so not sure that is a good idea. Often getting to work on time is challenge enough. Hence my hoping for a single hatch.

What is the "Partenon variety" Windmere was mentioning and what are its attributes?

I also have to get with you about the cold weather covering I saw referenced in a different thread.
Catching up on several years is tough.
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Re: Squash bug season?

Post  yolos on 4/14/2015, 1:25 pm

Windmere found this variety.  Neither one of us has ever grown it but we are both going to plant at least one plant this summer.  You would not need to open the tulle to pollinate. 

http://parkseed.com/partenon-hybrid-squash-seeds/p/52518-PK-P1/

"Partenon takes its name from its nature: it is a parthenocarpic, or self-pollinating, variety, much like a seedless watermelon. It has very few seeds, and what it does have are soft and small. But the real differences are its ability to grow under adverse conditions, its resistance to cucumber beetles (a big pest for other zucchini varieties), and its longer freshness after harvest."

PS - I think you also had a problem with pickle worm. I found a cucumber (very small cucumbers but a great plant) that is also Parthenocarpic - Botanical Interests "Cucumber Persian Baby".  At every leaf node there was a flower that produced one cucumber.  It mostly grew up and not branching.  I still got pickleworm because I did not cover.  I was growing vertically.
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Re: Squash bug season?

Post  sanderson on 4/14/2015, 3:23 pm

Pepper, Give my best to your misses, and may her strength and energy return. Chemo is not a fun course.

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Re: Squash bug season?

Post  kamigh on 6/5/2015, 1:38 pm

Update on my squash (bug) situation:  Here in DFW we had the rainiest May EVER but most of my veggies seemed to be okay with that (thank goodness for well-draining beds!)  I have been diligent about checking my squash plants every day that there wasn't a downpour and have been picking off those offensive little creatures as I find them.  If they are there, I usually find 2 and I squish them with my gloved hand.  I've also been on the lookout for the eggs (thanks Yolos for posting the picture of what they look like!).  I've found them several times and I just scrape them off the leaf with my gloved hand.  No evidence of the dreaded SVB . . . yet.  This is the first time I've ever made a concerted effort to check for those bugs and eggs every day; hopefully it will be enough to keep them away so I actually get to eat a squash from my garden!  I've managed to get some spaghetti squash, but every zuchinni and yellow squash I've planted in Texas (I've been down here for 13 years now) has been destroyed by either the SVB or squash bugs before I've gotten even one.  Fingers crossed!!!!!
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Re: Squash bug season?

Post  yolos on 6/5/2015, 2:30 pm

I have been checking everyday also.  I only have 4 zucchini but I have been vacuuming up at least 2 squash bugs per day for 4 days.  No eggs yet and no sign of the SVB.  But shouldn't be long before they show up.
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Re: Squash bug season?

Post  FeedMeSeeMore on 6/5/2015, 4:08 pm

After a lot of research, it seems as though there's very little that can be done to prevent a SVB attack. This year we tried covering the bed with 4 squash plants with insect barrier hoping the wasp would not get to them. It did. One suggestion was to keep planting new ones. So I planted 4 more seeds in pots and when the original plants start to die, I'll replace them.
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Re: Squash bug season?

Post  yolos on 6/5/2015, 4:57 pm

@FeedMeSeeMore wrote:After a lot of research, it seems as though there's very little that can be done to prevent a SVB attack. This year we tried covering the bed with 4 squash plants with insect barrier hoping the wasp would not get to them. It did. One suggestion was to keep planting new ones. So I planted 4 more seeds in pots and when the original plants start to die, I'll replace them.

Last year I used tulle and covered a 3' x 8' bed.  None of the squash in that bed were attached by the SVB.  I had quite a few pumpkin not covered and they were all attacked by the SVB so I know they were around last season.
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Re: Squash bug season?

Post  FeedMeSeeMore on 6/6/2015, 1:00 pm

@yolos wrote:

Last year I used tulle and covered a 3' x 8' bed.  None of the squash in that bed were attached by the SVB.  I had quite a few pumpkin not covered and they were all attacked by the SVB so I know they were around last season.

The insect barrier I used did not completely cover the squash. I even sewed the edges to make it longer, but the plants got so huge there were gaps around the bottom. I Thought it was enough to fool the little buggers. Your hoop style looks much better than my setup. We're using the criss cross style. It does shield the plants from scorching sun in the afternoon at which time the leaves wilt pathetically even though the soil is wet.
Every year, (my 2nd ever growing vegs) I learn what to do next year.
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