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Control Methods for Squash Bugs

An Adult Squash Bug and Eggs

An Adult Squash Bug and (very tiny) Eggs

Close-Up of Squash Bug Eggs

Remove Overwintering Adults

Adults hide and overwinter under leaf debris and mulch, so it’s helpful to refrain from mulching around squash plants, or else remove the mulch at the end of the season and replace with fresh mulch. Do not throw the old mulch on your compost pile; get rid of it, as well as the plant remains and debris to reduce the number of adults overwintering in your garden.

Remove Actively Feeding Adults

A wooden trap is a very easy and effective method for collecting adults. All you do is place wooden boards or shingles on the soil. The squash bugs will hide under the boards at night and when you flip the boards over in the morning, you can just scrape them into a bucket of soapy water. It’s also very effective to hand-pick the adults off the foliage and throw into soapy water.


A mix of Adults (big and dark) and Nymphs (smaller and tan or ash-colored)

Collect Eggs

Look for the little metallic bronze eggs found on the underside of the leaves. They can easily be removed with a small piece of duct tape wrapped around your finger, sticky side out.

For more information, visit the WI Master Gardener’s page.

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Leaf Damage caused by Squash Bugs

Leaf Damage caused by Squash Bugs