Effects of cover crops and organic insecticides on squash bug (Anasa tristis) populations
Davies, Lindsay Nichole
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Squash bugs (Anasa tristis) can be a serious insect pest for organic summer squash growers. The purpose of this research was to evaluate two methods to control A. tristis populations. The first experiment involved planting cover crops adjacent to summer squash in an effort to attract natural enemies to keep A. tristis populations in check. Natural enemies were attracted to the plots, but did not significantly reduce A. tristis populations. This may have been due to other food sources in the plots, such as pollen, nectar, and aphids. Also, summer squash yields were negatively affected by the cover crop treatments. The second experiment involved evaluating the efficacy of organic insecticides on A. tristis adults and nymphs. Results of this study showed pyrethrin-based sprays are best for controlling A. tristis.