Ah, a pretty, healthy pumpkin plant. I like to plant pumpkin seeds each year, my goal being to harvest a pumpkin for each of the girls. We like to carve their names into the pumpkins when they’re little, and the writing grows as the pumpkin does. Fun!
But a few weeks ago, I noticed the tell-tale wilting and yellowing of leaves. I knew the culprit: the evil squash bugs. I’d seen them before …
For some reason though, every year I think I will beat them. I’ll lay sticks of wood in the garden in the evenings and then check underneath them each morning (the bugs like to congregate there, the easier to kill them). I’ll pick off the hundreds of eggs, one by one.
But then, reality hits. I can’t get rid of each egg, no matter how hard I try. The little boogers like to lay them on the undersides of the leaves, which is an additional challenge. And even if I left only two little eggs unmolested, somehow those two bugs would find each other and mate endlessly, producing enough eggs to kill all my pumpkin plants, all my mini gourd plants, all my zucchini plants, and possibly even my cucumbers.
Yep, despite all my careful picking and watching, some do survive. This year, I took the very non-organic step of buying a bottle of Sevin. I take it out each day, spraying any unlucky bugs I find. Still, some elude me, and yet spraying them with poison is admittedly cathartic.
I paid $5 for that bottle of Sevin. I’m thinking I could have bought quite a few zucchini with that $5, and spared myself the hassle. How many zucchini has my garden produced so far this year? Zero.
So, although I’ve come back with a vengeance these three years, I’m thinking that next summer I may take a break from those crops and just buy them already harvested. Because I just can’t keep ahead of the dumb squash bugs.
Have you ever dealt with squash bugs? Any tips?