For thousands of years, or should we say- for as long as squash and pumpkin has been grown by humans, there are some invaders that never seem to stop interrupting the free flow of the growth of these crops.
Squash bugs and squash vine borers. These pests are native to North America and have been sabotaging our crops as soon as early summer.
Some professional pest control agencies are not sure how to truly control the squash vine borers in ways that are practical for large farms.
However, experience teaches wisdom and below are some crazy methods used by farmers to rid their farms and gardens of these bugs and much more using natural methods.
To top it off they are reaping the rewards of some awesome harvests!
These are some crazy but effective tricks that squash farmers use to get rid of squash bugs naturally!
1. Use wet/dry Vacuum
This a very simple method of wetting the plants with a hose in such a way to cause the squash bugs to crawl to the top of the leaves. The use of a wet/ dry vacuum to suck them up.
Then assassinate them by sucking up some soapy water in the vacuum.
If the squash is planted on a trellis this method will be much easier!
2 Use decoy plants/ Trap Crop
Based on a farmer’s experiment he used decoy squash plants to trap the squash bugs inside them. When the decoys are infested with squash bugs.
You can destroy the decoys with the bugs inside it which would cause the bug population in your garden or farm to decrease.
So the main squash plants or plants would not be harmed but instead, the decoys would be.
3. Use Hose Filled With Water
Leave a 100 feet garden hose in the sun, filled with water for hours until the water inside is really hot!
I the midday hours, the squash bugs like to hide from the heat of the sun at the based of the plants.
Spray them with the hot water and it will kill most of them. Those squash bugs that are not dead by the hot water may drown based on where they are.
This method is one of the craziest we came across! This farmer said he thought the hot water would hurt the plants but it actually did not and claimed the plants looked much better two days after.
4. Plant Marigold near the Squash plants
Marigold is a plant that is regularly used as a natural insecticide. Squash bugs hate the very scent of this plant.
One farmer noted that he planted marigold neat his squash plants and did not experience any problem with squash bugs for that entire year!
This sounds pretty smart and practical as a residual insecticide.
It is one of the safest methods we come across.
5. Using Dawn Dish Soap And Water
Dawn dish soap and water is very popular for many uses as a natural and safe soap solution for humans.
But this solution is deadly to most insects out there! Squash bugs are no different.
When this solution is used, you will see the squash bugs dying within seconds of being sprayed.
The soap solution suffocates the squash bugs, and it will also kill the little eggs.
his is one of the most effective and by far the most practical method to follow!
DIRECTIONS: In a spray bottle, mix 1 tablespoon of dawn dish soap to 6 ounces of water. Spray on the bugs and their eggs.
6. Use Coffee Grounds
After you have made your hot coffee. Do not just throw away the coffee grounds! It works wonders for your garden.
Spread it out all over the ground of where your crops are growing. It will prevent many bugs from catching the scent of your crop.
This works for squash plants and other plants as well.
It is also a good mulch and will add nutrients to your garden soil.
7. Use Neem Oil
A solution of neem oil mixed with water can also chase out the Squash bugs and prevent other insects from invading your farm or garden.
Spread the solution both on the plants and on the ground around the plants. Squash vine borers, spider mites and a ton of other insects will also be all gone with the same solution.
Directions to use:
Measure 5 ml (1 tsp) neem oil, 2 teaspoon dawn dish soap or other detergents (optional) and 1 liter (1 quart) warm water.
- Use a wet/ dry vacuum to suck them up.
- Plant a decoy crop and destroy them in it.
- Use a hose filled with hot water.
- Surround your squash plants with marigold.
- Apply dish soap and water.
- Spread coffee grounds all around.
- Make a solution with neem oil.