Which Insects Are Destroying All Of The Pumpkin Plants?
Around October many people begin buying and carving pumpkins in order to celebrate Halloween. The demand for pumpkins is so high that many gardeners specialize solely in pumpkin cultivation. Every year pumpkin farmers are forced to deal with the threat posed by insect pests. However, this year, the bugs are out in particularly high numbers. The high number of active insect pests has been mentioned frequently by media outlets. The excessive bug populations come as a result of the most recent mild winter, as well as the warm and rainy spring season. Pumpkin harvesters are already experiencing problems with insect pests. These problems are occurring earlier, and more damage is being reported than ever before. Most of this damage is caused by a particular type of bug that is known for overwintering. Also, there exists very few, if any, beneficial insects that can eradicate these pests from your garden. The insect pest in question is known as the “squash bug”.
Squash bugs can lead to reduced yields, wilting and eventual plant death. Seedlings and young plants are especially vulnerable to squash bug damage. Most adult squash bugs will deposit their eggs on pumpkin leaves, but sometimes their eggs are found on stems as well. Once these eggs hatch, the offspring, along with their parents, will begin feeding on the plant sap.
It is best to destroy squash bugs when their populations are low. Squash bug eggs can be removed by hand. Squash bugs can also be removed if there are only a very small number of them present. Squash bug nymphs have grey bodies with black legs and they are sometimes mistaken for spiders. The adults are grey in color and they are typically found grouped together on leaves. Squash bugs do not have many natural predators that can be found in peoples’ gardens. However, ground beetles are one exception, as these beetles are known for destroying squash bugs. Squash bugs can attain high population levels quickly, so resorting to pest control services is sometimes necessary.
Have you ever tried growing a pumpkin patch? If you have, then did you notice a squash bug presence at any point?