The bain of my existence.
The scourge of the garden.
Squash bugs are the devil.
They lurk around the stem of your beautiful plants making all kinds of trouble.
They mate right in front of you and then lay the eggs in a nice, tidy cluster usually underneath the leaf.
As I’ve mentioned, I planted marigolds and radishes to help with pest control. I also go out every night and pick off the little suckers and feed them to the chickens.
I also realized I needed to get this under control before we leave and decided to sprinkle diatomaceous earth around the stems of all the squash.
Tomorrow the cucumbers, cantaloupes and watermelons get a dose.
Diatomaceous earth (DE) actually comes from rock that easily crumbles into a fine powder. It acts like glass shards and cuts the outer layer of the bugs and will dehydrate and kill them. If you do use DE, use a mask while applying it and only apply if the wind is calm. It is an organic method of bug control, but is also a fine powder and could easily be inhaled and cause lung issues. I found DE at our local Farmer’s Co-op.
I also bought an organic spray at the Co-op called Captain Jack’s Dead Bug Brew. It has spinosad which is a “naturally occurring soil dwelling bacterium that was collected on a Caribbean island from an abandoned rum distillery in 1982.” “Apply when bugs are present”
I’m always reluctant to use any type of spray or powder on my garden. Not only will it kill the bad bugs, it also kills the good bugs. Spinosad will kill bees if they land on the sprayed area within 3 hours of spraying. I will be very mindful of this. I need the bees to pollinate the squash. I will apply this around the base of the plant late in the afternoon after the bee activity has stopped for the day. We have to keep the bees alive!
I’m sure the minute we leave our house for vacation, the squash bugs will send out their bug signal for “let’s have a party”. I’ve already seen what they can do when I’m there, Lord knows what they will do when I’m gone.
But that’s the chance we all take when dealing with gardens and nature.
Keep Calm and Garden On!