In the Garden: Controlling squash bugs

BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) It's the time of year when vegetable gardens are really flourishing, but the bugs are also flourishing. Sharon Meyer talks with gardening expert Charlie Nardozzi about how to control the squash bug.

Sharon Meyer: Look at that yummy looking squash. I want to eat that right now.

Charlie Nardozzi: It's been a good year for squash. Zucchini, summer squash, winter squash -- they are exploding in this heat.

Sharon Meyer: They like heat.

Charlie Nardozzi: But something else is exploding. Bugs. Specifically, squash bugs. Because if you flip over this beautiful leaf you will see a whole host of little guys. You think of squash as being easy, and they are, but the squash bugs love them, too. So squash bugs are these little gray bugs that turn into big gray bugs and they reproduce like rabbits. So they lay these eggs, on the bottom sides of the leaves -- they hatch really quickly -- and so if you have a few of them here and there it's not much of a problem, but if you let if get out of control, by the end of the month or so, all of your beautiful squash are going to be decimated.

Sharon Meyer: So what do you do?

Charlie Nardozzi: You squish 'em! So the best thing to do is to look for these copper colored eggs -- you can see them all underneath here. They are often between the veins of the leaves, and you just squoosh them with your fingers like that. That's all you have to do. It just knocks them right off. If you don't like that, you can just cut them with scissors and cut them out, and get rid of them. If you are diligent about doing that now, you won't have the generation of them coming along, so you won't have problem. If you have a lot of the adults, you can knock them off into a pail of soapy water. Or just put down some boards -- they like to hide underneath the boards -- then you flip those over in the morning and scrape those off. So getting on top of them now before they get ahead of you is a good idea if you really want to have some beautiful pumpkins, winter squash, zucchini, and summer squash.