KC Gardens

Squash bugs in an organic garden


Will squash bugs destroy a zucchini or yellow squash plant? I am trying my best to have an organic veggie garden but these guys are persistent! - Lori -


  1. 8 months, 2 weeks ago

    Yes, Lori, eventually the squash bugs will weaken a plant and it will die. A few squash bugs can quickly turn into way too many as they produce many generations.

    Organically there are a few options including sanitation and crop rotation. This means removing all plants, leaf debris, extra fruit in the fall. Row covers may provide some protection early in the season, but these must be removed when the squash begin to flower.

    Your best option at this point is to hand pick, especially the eggs and nymphs which are on the under side of the leaves. This means daily, assiduous inspection.

    Here is the link to the KSU Squash Bug and Squash Vine Borer Bulletin, which has great pictures to help you identify the different stages of the insect, as well as cultural practices: http://www.ksre.ksu.edu/bookstore/pubs/MF2508.pdf

    Good luck.

    Carole Johnson County Extension Master Gardener

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