Get Rid Of Squash Bugs Naturally: Effective Tactic for Gardeners

by Texas Homesteader ~ 

Don’t you just hate squash bugs? Me too. They gain their foothold early and decimate your squash plants in no time.

And squash bugs are notoriously difficult to control. The only sure way I know of is to remove all eggs and also both adult and nymph bugs by hand.

Today’s Homestead Hack is timely. Use what ya got! 

Homestead Hack natural was to control squash bugs. #TexasHomesteader

Finding Squash Bugs On Your Plants

I was so excited at how well the spaghetti squash plant was growing in my garden!

As I tenderly removed the encroaching grass & weeds from around this tiny fragile plant I was horrified to see those dreaded coppery-colored eggs on the underside of the leaves and a scurry of the most vile almost undefeatable foe in any garden… 

GARDEN PEST CONTROL: Looking for a low-impact way to control the dreaded squash bugs in your veggie garden without resorting to chemicals? #TexasHomesteader

Squash Bugs! Ugh. I’ll not let them take what little garden I’ve had survive this year, I WON’T!

So when I saw the dreaded squash bugs and their eggs I vowed that I wasn’t going down without a fight. It’s almost impossible to get rid of squash bugs and they can decimate your garden overnight.  


Negative Effects of Using Insecticide In The Garden

But here’s the thing – I won’t use insecticide in my vegetable garden.

Insecticide is almost always a non-discriminatory killer.

Sure you’ll kill the squash bugs, but at what cost?

The squash bug is a garden pest that's difficult to control. #TexasHomesteader

Residue on Vegetables:  I never want to eat food that’s ever had poison sprayed on it at any time of its growth.

Harmful effect on beneficial insects: Insecticide often also kills the beneficial insects – ladybugs, honeybees, etc.

Potential Harm To Earthworms: What happens when the poison sprayed on the plant leaf is washed to the ground. Does it harm other insects in the soil such as earthworms?

Harmful Effect On Birds, Lizards, Toads, etc.: And if that poison takes a while to kill the pest bug there could be other victims, such as the bird or lizard that eats that now-poisoned bug. Maybe the bird takes that poisoned insect to the nest to feed the baby birds…

No. For me there’s just too much unintended damage, poison is not the answer!

So I sprung into action using this tried-n-true homestead hack.

Low-Impact Method Of Squash Bug Control

To reduce the impact of controlling the squash bugs in my garden I used a wide-mouth bottle with a little water in the bottom of it.

Then with my gloved hand I pulled each squash bug I found on my plant and dropped it into my bottle of water which makes quick work of those squash bugs. 


GARDEN PEST CONTROL: Looking for a low-impact way to control the dreaded squash bugs in your veggie garden without resorting to chemicals? #TexasHomesteader I also tore off any portion of any leaf that had those coppery-colored eggs and placed it in the bottle as well.

I’ve heard you can just scrape off the eggs but I’ve always worried that they would just hatch on the ground instead of on the plant. And I don’t want to take any chances!

Then I just screwed the lid back on and tucked this bottle away in my garden.

I know to be sure I get all these little squash bug beasts I’ll need to be diligent. I’ll need my little bottle with water for at least the next several days. Maybe even for the rest of the season.

You can’t be complacent when you’re dealing with squash bugs!

So there ya go – today’s Homestead Hack. It’s effective, it’s low-impact, it’s repurposing, it’s organic and it’s using what ya got!


This post categorized in  

My Favorite Garden Hacks

My favorite gardening hacks all in one place. #TexasHomesteader

Garden Planning

Seed Planting

Soil Health

Garden Styles

Garden Plants/Harvest


Weed Control

Garden Tips

MORE Gardening Posts

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12 thoughts on “Get Rid Of Squash Bugs Naturally: Effective Tactic for Gardeners

  1. Carole West @ Garden Up Green

    We drown squash bugs too, it seems the easiest most effective way to get rid of them naturally. Glad to see your garden is doing good, mine has been enjoying our sunshine too. I’m now thinking towards fall planting as spring was pretty light due to all that rain, it is nice though to see all the ponds and lakes full again.

  2. Amy Turberville

    Exactly the way I always handle the little beasties! Left unchecked they will quickly decimate any garden.

    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      Works wonders Amy and for the devastation they cause in the garden they deserve nothing less… LOL ~TxH~

  3. Amy Jung

    Every year I say I will never plant any type of squash again. Seeing those beetles is like watching a horror movie for me! Every year I replant with hopes to outwit them. Nothing seems to work or I start too late. I will try the simple water trick if I find them. Hopefully they will not visit while we’re on vacation!

    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      YES Amy – I feel your pain. The water trick will work on them, but you must inspect your plants daily. Squash bugs are opportunistic little beasts and their populations can explode overnight, so keeping any adults, nymphs and eggs removed is the only way to keep their populations to a non-lethal level. This water trick is the only thing that’s ever worked for me. ~TxH~

      1. Amy Jung

        I don’t think I’ll feel guilty drowning those little beasts! 🙂

  4. Patti

    Our weather has been horrible here too. One day it’s warm and the next you have to put the heat on. Right now the only plants that have survived is my tomatoes and 1 squash. The way we deal with bugs is castile soap. I mix up a mild solution and spray everything. Not only do the bugs hate the smell if they’re caught in the cross fire, they dry up and die. It even works for the eggs, it dries them up. Not sure if this would work for you. Happy plantings!

    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      I have castile soap Patti so I’m interested in what you’re saying. Previously when I tried to control garden pests with soap it seemed to burn my plants – maybe I was mixing it too strong? What is your mixture ratio? And I know squash bugs are notoriously hard to treat with any method – have you ever successfully treated squash bugs (and eggs) with the soap mixture? ~TxH~

      1. Patti

        Tammy yes we have treated the squash bugs along with tomato worms/bugs. Here those are worse for us. I use a 32 oz spray bottle and add 1-2 TBSP of the soap. We’ve never had a problem with it burning leaves or plants. We do apply it in the evening when it’s cooler. We’ve also applied it after we have watered and that also works. I’ve also used the peppermint castile and I like that one the best as I think the smell keeps away the rabbits and squirrels. Make sure to use a good quality soap ( Dr, Bronners ) as they are not all the same. Some use cheap fillers and I believe that’s where many problems come into play. I apply every other day when there’s a big out break and then you can cut down the times applied. Hope this helps, let me know if you have any luck.

        1. Patti

          Good grief, I should have told you I use 32 oz of water in that bottle and then add the soap. Make sure to do it in that order!

          1. Texas Homesteader Post author

            Thanks Patti. I make my own castile soap in bar form, so I can dissolve some shavings in 32-oz of water and pour into spray bottle? (fingers crossed!) ~TxH~

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