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Answers to your questions about gardening, energy, homesteading and other sustainable living topics.

Squish Those Squash Bugs

Hundreds of little gray bugs are attacking my squash plants. What can I do?

Sounds like you’ve got an outbreak of squash bugs. These little critters can really be tough to control. One way to reduce their numbers is to lay down boards around the plants, then flip the boards over every few days and squish the bugs you’ll find hiding on the undersides. We’re urging readers to test this method using a “squash bug squisher” made of two boards hinged together, which makes the “squishing” part easier. 

Read Homemade Squisher for Squash Bug Control, and you can help us test the squisher and learn more about how to get a jump on the bugs next spring. 

Also, after you harvest your squash crop this fall, you should immediately pull all the vines, wrap them in clear plastic and leave them in the sun to kill the bugs and eggs. And for another option for next year, read Do You Have Any Tips for Getting Rid of Squash Bugs? 

 — Cheryl Long, editor in chief 

carrie pike
3/30/2012 1:07:54 AM

I never use pesticides but these buggers tempted me! I have heard they are pretty immune and I have bee hives so never would anyhow. Start looking early, when I find the egg sacs on the underside of the leaves I use a Bic grill lighter to scorch them until they are no longer viable. Then when/if I start seeing the bugs I spray them directly with a mixture of 1/3rd bar of Kirks Castille soap (use a cheese grater) mixed in a larger spray bottle of very warm water. Kill them in less than a minute!