Plan of Attack

See that? That's what I am trying to save. Well that zucchini plant plus some cucumbers, acorn, butternut and spaghetti squash, a few pumpkins, and maybe even some cantaloupe.
My plan of attack so far is this:
A jug with soapy water (and currently about 50 dead squash bugs). After the boys go to bed, and they day is cooling off I go out and pick off any bugs and eggs I see. Never seen a squash bug? I bet you have:
A stink bug, not really, but it looks like one and smells like one. So if you see them hanging around your squash plants, get them off. If you find clusters of red/orange eggs on the backs of the leaves GET THEM OFF! Once the eggs hatch the larva can wilt the plant in one day. Squishing them doesn't smell too nice, thus the soapy water.

And here is the best part. The part that makes me feel a little less like I am fighting a losing battle. This fly:
I have been seeing them all over the place the past few weeks. Well....not all the zucchini and cucumber bed. Rylan asked me what it was and I didn' t know, but I told him that there are some insects that prey on the squash bugs....we were hopeful. Today I went to actually name that fly....starting in a hopeful place....I typed in the first predator of squash bugs on the list. Bingo! Tachinid Fly, more specifically Trichopoda pennipes. It is a parasite of the squash and stink bug families!! At least I have an ally out there!

But look at his's a fight worth fighting for a smile like that...


  1. Good luck.
    Sounds like you've got a good chance of winning the battle. :)

  2. THAT is a squash bug? WOW. How totally uneducated am I? The boys pick them up all the time and say "Look mom, a stink bug" and try to keep them as pets. Hmmm. No more, my friends.

    See all the stuff you can learn from blogging? :)

    Best of luck to you and your parasite buddy!

  3. great post. I love learning about organic gardening. If only I could keep the pesky squirrels and birds out of my lil plot. Any suggestions?

  4. So, how does this work? Do you put out the jug of soapy water and the bugs crawl in? Do you wash the plants? Can I use Palmolive so that it will soften my hands as I do the bushes? I've lost many a crop to those pesky squash bugs, and they seem immune to Sevin dust (not that I'm fond of putting that on my vegetables).

  5. I'm guessing that you dump the bugs into the jug of soapy water as you nip them off the plants, right?

    We'll be watching for them, but right now my plants are all tiny and babyish still--I had to cover them for frost last week! Darned MN weather!!!!!!

  6. Yes...stick the bugs in the jug of soapy water as I hand pick them off....the soap kills them almost instantly. I have read you can make a handy concoction of blended up squash bugs, water and a little soap and spray the plant....haven't tried it yet...since I don't have a spare blender. It is supposed to work on a variety of pests (blend up whichever pest you are wanting to get rid of)...

    No sevin around here...I can't even bring myself to spray with the so-called organic sprays. Si far I am seeing a lot of eggs on the bugs now so I am leaving those, and I found a hollowed out bug that I assume was a host to one such egg. Yea!

  7. I am so happy to hear how many pounds how wonderful. :) Your produce looks so tasty....can't wait to try some hoping someday. Actually I am trying to plan our next school year and yes a little overwhelmed..I want to go more unschool but, do want books for those days I need a kick start or am down. I am thinking we will be using LLATL loosely and Making Math Meaningful with added in's...

    Sorry haven't been by to visit lately glad to see all is well.


  8. Pretty soon you will have more zucs than you know what to do with. I have a couple months but I am saving your recipies so I can use them in the fall. :D

    Soapy water in a milk jug is a great idea! Although I would have to wash it out at night... becuase blech! Deal bugs. Shudder... I am such a girl.


  9. I hope to plant a good sized garden next year so I enjoyed reading your squash bug tips. Those pesky boogers have ruined many of my plants in the past. Enjoy your bountiful harvest!