[Market-farming] Squash bug control

Bill Shoemaker wshoemak at illinois.edu
Sat Oct 31 12:00:13 EDT 2009

>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 think that is an important distinction. Buttercups and Kabocha are members of the species Cucurbita maxima. Delicata are C. pepo and butternut are C. moschata. I've noticed the same preference. I see a tendency for cucumber beetles to have a similar preference, though not as profound. If squash bug pressure is high, you may want to reduce plantings of maxima types or utilize another strategy. In our region squash bugs don't emerge until mid-July most years. Perhaps row covers could be used for exclusion? I haven't tried it, and I'm not sure it's cost-effective, but it might be worth trying.

By the way, most jack o'lantern pumpkins are C. pepo, like delicata squash and zucchini. Pumpkins like Big Max are C. maxima, and pumpkins like Buckskin and Dickinson Field pumpkin are C. moschata. That info can be useful in IPM practices.


William H Shoemaker, UI-Crop Sciences
Sr Research Specialist, Food Crops
St Charles Horticulture Research Center
535 Randall Road  St Charles, IL  60174
630-584-7254; FAX-584-4610

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