[Market-farming] Squash bug control

Road's End Farm organic87 at frontiernet.net
Sat Oct 31 11:37:11 EDT 2009


On Oct 31, 2009, at 9:27 AM, Diane Kunkel wrote:

> Hi, Do any of you use Guinea Fowl for squash bug control? I've almost
> given up on squash & pumpkins. Or are there any organic controls for
> these little devils? Thanks,  Andy   zone 5-6  Wenatchee, WA
>

I've found a lot of varietal difference in susceptibility to squash 
bugs -- in particular, I've found buttercups and kabocha types (of 
various varieties) to be much more susceptible to them than acorn, 
delicata/sweet dumpling, and butternut types. I haven't researched 
other organic controls -- I think there are some -- because I rarely 
have significant problems with the resistant types.

On the other hand, I've never had much problem with squash bugs in 
pumpkins; so it's possible our squash bugs don't have the same tastes 
as yours.

(Guinea fowl actually probably wouldn't meet current organic standards: 
they'd be depositing fresh manure in the field, and to do the job 
they'd probably have to be in there within the 120 days before harvest 
-- fresh manure can't be applied within 120 days of harvest of a crop 
for human consumption if the part of the plant for consumption can 
touch the ground. You could put them in the field after harvest to 
clean up, of course; that might reduce next year's pest pressure 
significantly.)

-- Rivka; Finger Lakes NY, Zone 5 mostly
Fresh-market organic produce, small scale
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