Invasion!

The bottom leaves of the watermelon and pumpkin plants had started to turn yellow. Thinking it was due to monsoon season, I didn’t pay much attention.

Then, I noticed the holes.

Clearly, it wasn’t just too much water making my squash sad. My suspicions were confirmed when I checked the underside of a leaf.

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Squash bugs.

I spent a good hour turning leaves over and squishing the eggs, careful not to hurt the plants. It was hot, tedious, yet oddly satisfying work and by the time I had done all I could, my back hurt from stooping.

I focused mainly on the watermelon and pumpkin in the kitchen garden. I would hate to lose the squash that Joe had so lovingly planted.

A quick survey of the back gardens told me that the bugs were not so aggressive out there.

I wondered why they were so prevalent in the kitchen garden…could it be the straw I used?

We used straw mulch in the kitchen garden, whereas in the back, we used wood chips.

Perhaps the woody mulch is helping to keep the squash bugs at bay.

Maybe I’ll try putting cardboard down under the plants to more easily identify and eradicate the pests.

The boys and I have a new chore to add to our checklist. Each day, we’ll be patrolling for squash bug eggs. I’ll flip the leaves and Joe and Jake will point out the eggs.

Hopefully, we’ll be able to keep ahead of the hatching.

Dear praying mantis
Pesky pests have invaded
Please scout for squash bugs

6 responses to “Invasion!

  1. Squash bugs are evil. Last year I tried removing them with the sticky side of duct tape, and that worked really well on the eggs. They’re just a pernicious, despicable creation. Good luck!

    • What a great idea! I’m going to try that, thank you for the tip! And yes, they are pure evil.

      • Any time we can hurt them where they live is a good time, so my pleasure. I also tried a little diatomaceous earth spread around the base of my plants last year. It’s safe for us; we can even eat it. But it dries out or screws up the squash bugs’ exoskeleton.

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