Gabriele in Nine Mile Falls, Washington, has issues with two different types of bugs that have made her garden their home. But should she get rid of both varieties? Well, no.
- Gabriele is vexed by squash bugs that have invaded her pumpkin patch. She wants them gone, but not by using insecticide.
- Murph suggests something unique: use a board. Putting a plank, or even shingles, between pumpkin plants gives the bugs a place to go at night. Once the little devils use the underside for nighttime shelter, Gabriele can go out in the early morning and stomp on the bugs and any eggs they may have deposited underneath.
- Using Neem Oil a few times every week can dispatch the squash bugs, too.
- Small plants can be protected by floating row covers.
- And, of course, there are organic insecticides to try.
- At the end of the growing season, rototill up the garden and dispose of anything that may indicate infestation. This will reduce overwintering adult squash bugs.
- Gabriele is also concerned about the small black ants that appear in her garden each spring.
- No worries, says Murph. So long as they aren't biting, ants can be a welcome addition to a yard. They break down materials in the yard, which helps to build healthy soil. So, as long as the little guys aren't being a serious problem, let them go about their work.
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