Monday, January 30, 2012

Squash Bug deterrent

Brown Squash Bug, photo by lofaesofa

Did you know that squash bugs (not the equally noxious squash vine borers) apparently hate morning glories and their kin, moonflowers?

I have read that planting a morning gory, or a moonflower, between every 2-3 squash or pumpkin plants acts as a great deterrent. I haven't tried it yet, but I have plenty of time to get morning glories started so they are well advanced before I set out squash plants!

Of course, the best deterrent is a healthy, high-brix plant growing in properly nourished soil, but that's for a later post, as is management of squash vine borers and squash bugs *if the morning glories don't do the trick.


  1. I usually plant nasturtiums with my squash. I do have some morning glory seeds. I'm going to have to give this a try.

  2. I plant buckwheat in large patches at the end of the rows. Certain Tachinid flies,(Trichopoda pennipes) which are a squash bug parasitoid, eat buckwheat pollen/nectar inbetween bouts of mating & laying their eggs on squash bugs. After a few seasons (combined with egg removal & hand to squash bug combat) the squash bug populations decrease. Alot.

  3. At my location wild morning glory is endemic. Cant get rid of it with a backhoe, LOL. Maybe that is why I rarely see any of the squash bugs you mention.

    By the way, I just recently found your blog. I have perused quite a bit. I'll be back. Enjoy your scribbling.


  4. Winston, the wild ones are a problem here, too. That's my only hesitation about trying the MG's with my squash!

  5. Heavenly Blues don't self sow in my NE zone- but Grandpa Otts? Yikes. Fugettaboutit. MG seedlings for life with just one of those. Also: is the idea to put up a trellis nearby? Or to have them grow under/around on the ground? It might be cool to have them wind on zukes, but with winter squash, that could be a real tangle.

    Try the buckwheat. It's cheap, pretty, and good to turn under. And if you're ambitious, you can save your own seed from the first batch. The flies are easily identified with their bright orange butts, and if you watch closely, you can see them patrol under the leaf canopy & lay their eggs on the bugs (& even on the nymphs sometimes.) After awhile you find empty bug shells too. Very satisfying.

    1. Ned, I don't till anymore. I grew buckwheat as a ground cover 3 years ago, and some escaped before I got it cut, only to sprout here and there all over my yard for the last 2 years.


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