Sunday, July 28, 2013

The Dreaded Zucchini Bugs

Can I just tell you a story real quick? I promise, it's a quick one. Be prepared, this isn't one for children. Nightmares will result.

This is the story of Amanda and the Zucchini Bugs:

One summer day, after a long day of work, Amanda went out to her beloved patio garden to examine her healthy, thriving, if slightly weed-y, plants. She exclaimed with joy over her baby cucumbers...sighed with delight at her reddening tomatoes, and beamed over her ever-larger herbs. As she was exuding such happiness over, if you'll pardon the pun, fruits of her labor, she turned with anticipation to her zucchini plants. Amanda loved her zucchini plants, for they produced the only vegetable in the garden everyone would eat without complaint.

Peering expectantly among the leaves, searching for signs of a tasty zucchini....she found



THIS!!


Now Amanda is a pretty brave girl, but when she saw these terrifying creatures, a scream of shock escaped her. And can you really blame her?


Amanda's husband ran to her, worried that aliens were invading or she had broken a leg or something truly dreadful had happened.  Amanda, shaking with fear, choked out the word, "Bugs!" She pointed to the afflicted plant. Amanda's husband, scoffing at the reaction she had to some bugs, went to the plants, determined to see what caused his beloved wife to react so violently.  "Agghh!" he shouted, when he too, witnessed the frightening sight.


Once the shock wore off, Amanda and her husband went to the trusty Internet to determine what these monstrous creatures were. The conclusion? Stink bugs or squash bugs.

Stink bugs are not native to the United States. They were first collected in 1998 in PA and have since marched their pesty little selves across the continent. They are frequently found in IN. Squash bugs are related to stink bugs, and are also pesty little creatures.

Treatment for the devil bugs includes spraying with soapy water (tried it), removing the bugs themselves (NOPE!), removing infected leaves (tried it), and spraying with neem oil (on the list for today).

In the meantime, Amanda's zucchini plant is in sorry shape. Death is quite likely. Fortunately, Amanda has gardening family and friends who will hopefully share their non-infested zucchini with her.

I told you this wasn't a story for kids!


If you'd like to know more:
Kill those stinking squash bugs

The truth about stink bugs

 PSU's fact sheet brown marmorated stink bug

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