WAYS TO KEEP SQUASH BUGS AND BORERS AWAY
It's getting close to time when you will have to be on the lookout for Squash Bugs and Borers. They have come out heavy the last few seasons, and you need good remedies to keep them away. The best way to treat them is by Natural (Organic) methods. I'll list a few of those methods for you. Some methods will work better than others for your specific situation, so if one method doesn't work for you, then you should try a different one. Please, also let us know what has worked well for you.
START YOUR SEEDS INDOORS--I recommend you start your Seeds at least 4 weeks early indoors, and then transplant after last frost. This will have your Squash plants larger and more vigorous by the time Squash Bugs and Borers start hatching out. You may even miss most of them by your earlier harvest.
COMPANION PLANTING--One of my favorite ways to deter them. In many cases, planting these around and among your Squash plants will keep them away. The best plants are:
1) French Marigolds
2) Catnip--Repels everything
3) Dill--Sprinkle chopped up leaves on Squash plants
EARLY PREVENTION--In Late Spring/Early Summer, you need to be on the lookout for Squash bug eggs. They are very small, shiny, and copper colored. Squash Bugs will lay them on the undersides of leaves on your Squash plants. Check your plants frequently, wipe off eggs, and put them in a bowl of soapy water. This will wipe out many of them before they hatch and start damage.
SOME NATURAL SPRAYS/TREATMENT--You can try these 4 sprays.
1) Basil Spray--Squeeze 2 handfuls of Basil leaves and stems, put in 1 gallon jar, add 1 gallon water, and then sit in sun for 4 - 8 hours. Strain the liquid thru mesh, add 1/2 teaspoon liquid soap, mix, and then you can spray on your plants.
2) Garlic/Onion Spray--Mix Garlic, Onion, and water in a 1 gallon jar, and let sit until it smells pretty strong. You can then pour some of this mixture around the base of your plants where the bugs congregate. Make sure to reapply after a rain.
3) Liquid Soap Spray---Mix 1 - 2 Tbsp of Liquid Castile Soap, or regular dishwashing soap will also work, with 32 Ozs of water. Fill a 32 Oz spray bottle with this mixture, and then spray your affected plants in the mornings--under the leaves and base of the plants.
4) NEEM Oil Spray--To make 1 Quart of .5% dilution Neem Oil Spray, you will use these ingredients: Use 1 teaspoon Neem Oil, 1 - 2 ml Castile Soap, and 1 Quart of warm water. You can up your dilution % to 1% solution by using 2 teaspoons of Neem Oil and 2 - 4 ml of Castile soap in 1 Quart of warm water. You then spray this mixture on your plants every 2 weeks to keep the Squash Bugs away.
DIATOMACEOUS EARTH--This works well if everything else fails. Apply a light dusting to the foliage of your Squash or Zucchini plants in the morning when dew is still on plants. Don't get any on the flowers, and wear a mask so you don't breathe in.