Declaring War on Squash Bugs

Photo credit:
By Amanda Treco
Organic gardening means troubleshooting ways to deal with all the bugs who have access to poison-free plants. Recently, we've discovered a large amount of squash bugs taking up residency on our zucchini plants. Because the plants are mature, this is less of an issue than for immature plants—but left unchecked, this could become a hazard even for the mature zucchinis.

Despite using our organic pesticides, the squash bugs multiply rapidly. We hope that the bugs will not spread to our cucumber plants as well. So far, the best method we have found is to rid the plants of the egg masses that are being hatched on the undersides of the leaves, throwing any bugs we find into a bucket of hot, soapy water, or dousing the leaves themselves with hot, soapy water. This method is more about the removal of the bugs with water and less about the pesticides being used. This influx of squash bugs has proven to be quite the challenge, and we will continue to experiment with new management techniques.