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Keyword Search Results for:
Squash

5 Found

Question: 1289-3515
My squash plants are covered with eggs and adult insects. They are gray with antennae and six legs. What are they and how can I get rid of them? Patti, Norwich, CT

Mort's Answer:
Squash bugs lay an egg in the stem when the sprout is barely six inches tall. When you plant in the spring, you should plant the squash plants in a collar. A top of a styrofoam cup will do well. You could also place some diatomaceous earth inside the cups. You can see the little brown or black insect grow in the stem, if you missed barricading the stem. Use a razor knife to slit the stem and remove the bug with a tweezer and seal with a scotch tape. When the second generation occurs you get hundreds of eggs appearing under the leaves. At this point the missed insects in the stem will cut off the food supply to the fruit on the plant. You are too late to save this years crop. Next year clean any debris left from the fall and dust the soil with rotenone. Do not forget to collar your plants.

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Question: 998-3413
Right after my squash plants set the buds, the plant started to turn yellow. When the fruit was a little larger, it started to dry up. I am sure it is squash bugs. What do you think? Bill, Tulsa, OK

Mort's Answer:
Yes, it is. Squash bugs lay their eggs in the stems, when the plant starts to sprout. The bug grows internally as the plant matures. It eventually hollows out the food line to the top of the plant and kills it. You can extract the bug with a razor and tweezers early on. You can see the brown spot near the soil line inside the translucent tissue. A more effective method is surrounding the plant with a styrofoam cup, when you put it into the soil. Cut out the bottom and leave a rim or collar of a half inch above the soil. This mechanical obstacle can be supplemented with diatomaceous earth around the cup. If the squash bug makes in through those barriers, breed it and sell it to collectors and scientists.

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Question: 1130-2114
My squash plants begin to flower then start to wither. They are in six inch raised beds. What is the problem? Phil, Corsicana, TX

Mort's Answer:
Your raised bed may not be deep enough to accommodate all the dry weather. It is more likely that the squash bug larva has lived in the stem since it was planted. It appears as a dark shadowy figure in the opaque stem. It can be removed at that time with a tweezer and a razor cut. You can prevent the incursion of the adult before it lays its egg by putting a barricade around each plant. Tops of styrofoam cups work well. Diatomaceous earth spread around each plant will cut up the adult before it can reach the stem. Unfortunately, most folks do not see the affect of larvae until it has grown quite large inside the stem. It is probably too late to remove it now but I would try. The damage has already been rendered.

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Question: 1161-3714
My squash plant has yellow leaves and is not producing much female flowers. It also has a white fuzz on the leaves. Will I get fruit? What can I do? Kathy, Mansfield, CT

Mort's Answer:
When plants have any pathogens, they are vulnerable to other diseases. Although a lot of plants are late this year due to cool weather in the spring and summer, I suspect that you have squash bug. These dark brown bugs lay their eggs in the stems in early spring . As the plant matures, the bug grows inside the stem a few inches from the ground. Symptoms are not apparent until after flowering. You can examine the translucent stem. There will be a black or brown spot in the middle. Cut a small slit and remove the bug with tweezers. Cover the cut with scotch tape. You may be on time to save some nutrient that will reach the flowers. Dust the soil and the plant with micronized sulphur or Bordeaux mix. This will arrest the fungus.

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Question: 1382-3916
My squash came great this year. I used a lot of water to compensate for the drought. My pumpkins did not even flower and were sickly. I used store bought seeds. Robert, Toronto, Ontario

Mort's Answer:
We can eliminate squash bugs. Surely, they would have been on the squash plants. Wind driven fungi could have made a sweep. My best guess is that you had old seeds. You might get dried seeds from neighbors or go to another store for fresh seeds for next spring.

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