Squash bugs are the grey, shield-shaped bugs that feed on squash and pumpkin
plants. If you have had problems with these insects in the past, you know
that they are almost impossible to control when mature. This is because the
squash bugs have a hard body that an insecticide has difficulty penetrating.
Thus, spraying when the insects are small is important. We are now seeing
the nymphs of the first generation. These nymphs will eventually become
adults, which will lay eggs that will become the second generation. The
second generation is often huge and devastating. Therefore, it is important
to control as many squash bugs now as possible.
Because squash bugs feed by sucking juice from the plant, only insecticides
that directly contact the insect will work. General use insecticides such as
permethrin (Bug-B-Gon Multi-Purpose Garden Dust, Green Thumb Multipurpose
Garden and Pet Dust, Bug-No-More Yard and Garden Insect Spray, Eight
Vegetable, Fruit and Flower Concentrate, Garden, Pet and Livestock Insect
Control, Lawn & Garden Insect Killer), malathion, and methoxychlor provide
control if a direct application is made to young, soft-bodied squash bugs.
This means that you MUST spray or dust the underside of the leaves because
this is where the insects live.
By: Ward Upham