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Winter Squash - Diseases, Pests and Problems





Basic Information



Problem: Squash bug
Affected Area: Entire Plant

Description: Plants show brown blotches or stunted and distorted growth. Bug is dark to grayish-brown above and paler color underneath.

Control: Pick bugs by hand. They will hide under boards, etc., placed near the plants. * Spray with Rotenone, Pyrethrum or Diazinon. Remove debris so bugs cannot overwinter. * Pesticide use and recommendations for various areas are constantly changing. Check with your County agent for current recommendations.


Problem: Aphids
Affected Area: Leaf and Stem

Description: Small Insects found on new stems and the underside of the leaf. Usually green. They suck fluids from the plant leaving a honey dew substance behind. Leaves turn pale yellow.

Control: Insecticidal soaps or a strong stream of water. Ladybug beetles are natural predators. * Thiodan or Diazinon ? more than one application may be required. A layer of aluminum foil under plants reflects light to underside of leaves and may deter aphids. * Pesticide use and recommendations for various areas are constantly changing. Check with your County agent for current recommendations.


Problem: Blossom-end rot
Affected Area: Fruit

Description: Blossom end of squash is dark and leathery. Hot weather increases susceptibility.

Control: Supply even moisture to plant


Problem: Curly top
Affected Area: Leaf

Description: Leaves curl, plant dies.

Control: Destroy infected plants. Rotate location. Avoid stressing plant by watering evenly and providing adequate fertilizer. Clean up debris in fall.


Problem: Powdery Mildew
Affected Area: Leaf

Description: White powdery substance on leaves.

Control: Use surface or underground watering methods to avoid wetting leaves. Plant resistant varieties. Rotate planting location from year to year.


Problem: Mosaic virus
Affected Area: Leaf and Fruit

Description: Deformed (bumps) and discolored fruit and leaves.

Control: Plant resistant varieties. Control insects. Rotate location.


Problem: Verticillium Wilt
Affected Area: Entire plant

Description: Part of plant turns brown, wilts, and dies. May recover briefly recover briefly, but eventually dies. Brown streaking in vascular tissue.

Control: Destroy infected plants. Rotate the planting location. Clean up debris in fall.






Winter Squash

Tips

Squash plants produce both male and female blossoms. To aid in pollination, select a male blossom (with a straight stem) and rub the stamen of a female blossom (with a bulge behind the blossom) to pollinate.

 

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