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BOB MORRIS: Plant or pick early to avert squash bugs

Question: Every year, my zucchini plants are infested and destroyed by gray-colored beetles. How do I get rid of the beetles?

These are most likely squash bugs. You can plant late, in June, after their infestation time has passed or you can hand-pick them as soon you see them.

You must do this as they appear and get rid of them as soon as you see them. Do this for about three weeks and the numbers will be greatly reduced or eliminated.

Or you can vacuum them with a handheld vacuum cleaner or use pesticides suitable for squash bugs. If you choose to spray, do so very early in the morning or at sunset, when bees are inactive; do not spray plants when in bloom.

Bob Morris is a professor emeritus in horticulture with the University of Nevada and can be reached at extremehort@aol.com. Visit his blog at xtreme
horticulture.blogspot.com.

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