Friday, June 11, 2010

Squash Bug Life Cycle

Having just taken some pictures of squash bug nymphs (babies), here's the whole life cycle:

The adult female lays eggs on a squash family plant leaf surface:


The eggs are bronze colored and are usually found on the underside of leaves in clutches like these:



When the eggs hatch, the nymph stage of the squash bug looks like this:



The nymphs grow into the adult squash bug which does damage by sucking juices (i.e., sap, or the lifeblood of the plant) from plant leaves and stems:


The best defense against squash bugs in a small, home garden is removing egg clutches from leaves before they hatch and hand-picking the adults. There are organic-approved contact sprays for serious infestations in commercial settings. Most market organic growers try to use resistant varieties, early planting, inter-cropping, and vigorous nutrition to withstand the effects of the bugs.

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