Squash and pumpkin leaves wilt and may become black and crisp. Bright green to dark gray or brown flat-backed bugs, about 1/2 inch long, cluster on the plants.
ANALYSIS: Squash bugs (Anasa tristis)
Both the young (nymphs) and the adult squash bugs attack cucurbits, but infestations are most serious on squash and pumpkins. Squash bugs injure and kill the plants by sucking the sap from the leaves and stems. The dark brown adults, which are sometimes incorrectly called stink bugs, emit a disagreeable odor when crushed. The females lay brick-red egg clusters on the leaves in the spring. Although there is only one generation each year, all stages are found throughout the summer.
Squash bugs are elusive and difficult to control. When the bugs first appear, treat the plants and the soil around them with an insecticide containing carbaryl (SEVIN), insecticidal soap, or pyrethrins. Repeat the treatment every 7 days until the bugs are controlled. Plant varieties that are resistant to attack by squash bugs.
Squash varieties resistant to squash bugs: Butternut, Royal Acorn, Sweet Cheese.
Text and images adopted from theOrtho Problem Solver
Last Updated: Fri Sep 06 10:30:00PM CST 1996