Homemade Squisher for Squash Bug Control

By Cheryl Long  

Squash bugSome years ago, I wrote a report about research done at Texas A&M that found trap crops of early plantings of squash could attract “up to 90 percent of squash bugs in the area.” The key is to plant a few pots of squash indoors, earlier than your usual timing (the bugs are reportedly most attracted to winter squash varieties), then move the plants into the garden as soon as you can. Overwintering squash bugs will make a beeline for them (who knows how they find these plants — bugs are so amazing). The researchers suggested laying a few boards on the ground around the trap crop and then turning the boards over and squishing the bugs that like to hide on the undersides. Delay sowing your main crops as long as you can, continuing to squish the bugs that show up at the trap crop. 

We’ve come up with what we think might be an improvement on that technique: a “Squash Bug Squisher”! Instead of just using whatever is handy to squish the bugs on each board, we’re thinking it would be quicker and more effective if you connected two boards together with hinges, so you could pick up the Squisher, flip it over and slam the two boards against each other. The boards will have to be very flat — we’re thinking that fiber cement siding, which is highly resistant to warping and heavier than wood, might work well. 

We invite you to try this homemade technique for squash bug control, and report your results below. Reports on other squash bug control methods that have worked for you are also welcome. Happy gardening! 

p.s. Check out our article Growing Winter Squash for growing tips and advice about fun varieties to try.