Getting Rid of Squash Bugs

Got Squash Bugs?  Just Vacuum 'Em!

Got Squash Bugs? Just Vacuum ‘Em!

Squash bugs have to be one of the most annoying garden pests of all times. And, next to spiders and tomato hornworms, they have to be the creepiest, most disgusting things ever! Last year squash bugs ruined the entire pumpkin patch and then they moved on to the zucchini and ruined that too. I tried a lot of things to get rid of them, starting with organic methods, from spraying neem oil, dish soap, and raw goat milk; to breaking out the insecticide sprays, like Seven. Nothing worked. Those things just. don’t. die. That’s what makes them so creepy.

When garden planting time rolled around this year, I seriously debated on whether or not I should even try planting any type of squash. After some thought, I decided to try zucchini at least one more time. I enjoy growing it because it produces a lot and it can be added to a lot of different recipes to make economical meals. I knew that in order to have any luck at all growing it, I’d need to do something more to stay on top of the squash bug problem. Since all of the tips and tricks I researched didn’t work, I decided to brave up and try one last tip that I had been avoiding, which is to pick them off and smash them.

I mean, really, how hard could it be? I just needed to grab them, throw them on the ground and step on them. Easy, right? Well, let’s just say I was all prepared to do just that… until I found the first squash bug. It was actually double creepy because it was two squash bugs attached together creating more of themselves. I took one look at them and decided there was no way I could pick them off with my hand. So I went to the house and got some pliers, thinking surely it’d be easy to just grab them and smash them all in one shot. Let’s just say those two bugs could move faster than I thought and I just couldn’t get up the courage to grab them, let alone smash them with the pliers.

As I walked back to the house to put the pliers up, my mom came outside to water her plants. We stopped and chatted a bit and I filled her in on my squash bug dilemma. She said she didn’t mind picking them off and went to get some gloves. Once we got to the zucchini plants, I pointed out the bugs. She looked and said “EEEeeewwwwwww!!” I said, “Yeah, I know!” After a brief pause to gain some courage, she reached down, picked them off and smashed them. Yay!  But then, just when we thought we got the only bugs there were, two more appeared. She caught and smashed those and we found even more. I bet we, or I should say she, picked off at least a dozen of those things. She deserves a medal of bravery for that! In the process, we discovered a lot of eggs on the plants so we also smashed and removed those.

So much for staying on top of it, right?

The next day I went out and found more squash bugs on my plants. My mom was working that day so I decided to see if I could come up with any other ideas on how to get those bugs off without having to touch them. I read a discussion where someone suggested vacuuming them off. What an awesome idea!

I went to the shed and got my husband’s shop vac, which runs on battery…


and tried it out…


It worked like a charm…


No more squash bugs… at least for the moment.

I’ve been spraying the plants with Seven because there were some baby squash bugs that I vacuumed up and I wasn’t sure if I got all of them. Seven seems to kill, or at least keep the babies away so far. Early on I had to vacuum the plants quite a few times, but the last several weeks I haven’t had to do any vacuuming because I haven’t seen any bugs, so maybe, just maybe I’ve finally got those darn squash bugs under control.

Do you have problems with squash bugs? If so, what’s your favorite method of getting rid of them?


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One Response to Getting Rid of Squash Bugs

  1. Pingback: Getting Rid of Squash Bugs | Humble Little Homestead | WORLD ORGANIC NEWS

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