squash bug infestation

I live in middle GA. I have had a veg. garden 4 yrs. I never had to use a pesticide until last summer. I used sevin dust/spray. It did not help. The garden was completely taken over and destroyed by squash bugs.It was the first time we have never harvested any squash! They also moved onto the blackberries and roses. I almost am afraid to plant a garden this year for fear that will happen again. What do you suggest?
Submitted by BHGPhotoContest

Squash bugs are very difficult to control. These pests suck the sap from the leaves and stems and lay reddish egg clusters on the undersides of the leaves.

The key to success is early control. As soon as you see any bugs, hand pick them and look for egg masses on the leaves and destroy them. You can also use chemical controls, treating every 7 days until the bugs are gone. You could also try growing your plants under ""grow cloth."" This permeable white cloth will allow your plants to flourish underneath it, but is fine enough to keep pests at bay. You can find grow cloth at local garden centers or online at Gardener's Supply, www.gardeners.com/bhg.

Another way to help stop these pests is to lay flat pieces of board around  your plants. The bugs often will congregate under them and  you can destroy them manually. Again, it's not easy to defeat these pests, but there are ways. I'd try the grow cloth method first before I break out the chemical warfare.

One other thing, be sure to remove and destroy vines at the end of the season to cut down on the chance the bugs will overwinter. And moving your squash plants to a different area of the garden is a good idea, too. "

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