Squash Bug Location
The squash bug is common throughout the United States, ranging from Central America to Canada.
The squash bug attacks all vine crops, showing a preference for squashes and pumpkins.
Squash Bug Appearance and Habits
The adult bug is dark brown, sometimes mottled with gray or light brown, hard-shelled, about 4″ long. Because it gives off a disagreeable odor when crushed it is commonly called a “stink bug,” but true stink bugs belong to a related family. Unmated adults hibernate in the shelter of dead leaves, vines, boards or buildings and fly to the garden when the vines start to “run.” Mating takes place at that time, and clusters of brownish eggs are laid on the underside of the leaves in the angles between veins. Egg-laying continues until midsummer. The eggs hatch in a week or so into young nymphs with green abdomens and crimson heads and legs, but older nymphs are a somber grayish white with dark legs. There are five nymphal instars, or periods between molts, in the two months before the winged adult form appears.
Squash bug feeding causes leaves to wilt, then turn black and crisp. Small plants may be killed entirely, larger plants have one to several runners affected. Sometimes bugs are so numerous that it is impossible to produce any squashes; sometimes they congregate in dense groups on unripe fruits.
How toManage Squash Bug
Keep squash bugs away from vine plants by also planting marigolds, radishes, or nasturtiums.
Squash bugs like to hide under boards or trash, wherever it is darka and damp. Remove all potential protection.
Handpick beetles and eggs.