Prevent and fight this pest in the garden

Pumpkin bugs are distributed worldwide and can affect many crops, especially those in the Cucurbitaceae family, namely pumpkins, watermelons, cucumbers, melons and many others. Its size impresses since it can reach more than 2 cm in length. Today we will meet this bug and how to fight it in the garden.

pumpkin chips

There are several species of this bug and they all feed on the same thing, the sap of leaves and even fruit.


What are Pumpkin Chips?

It is an insect that can reach 2 cm in length and is normally found on plants of the pumpkin family, although it can also affect other crops. They are difficult to kill and when disturbed, they travel great distances.

Leptoglossus gonagra is dark in color above while below it has orange dots. In principle, it is not present in Europe, except in the Canary Islands, but it could be easily introduced due to globalization. Another species also known as the pumpkin bug is Anasa tristis and is well distributed throughout America, the adult is grayish and can reach 1 cm in length.

Pumpkin Bug Life Cycle

Adult individuals hibernate until they begin to appear in the summer on the plants they feed on. When mating, females will lay between 100 and 200 eggs depending on the species, yellow to copper-brown in color.

The little ones at birth will go through 5 larval phases where they will shed their skin to grow more and more. Juveniles resemble adults except that they are small and wingless. They can be seen in groups under the leaves.

What damage do pumpkin bugs cause?

Bedbugs feed on pumpkins with their biting-sucking mouthparts through which they ingest plant sap. They are thought to inject a toxin when they feed, leaving yellow marks with every bite they take on the leaves or fruits of affected plants. The yellow spots turn brown and the leaf dries out due to lack of nutrient flow.

There must be many insects to kill an adult plant, but only a few are needed to kill young plants. As if that were not enough, in some countries they can transmit diseases that affect plants and can lead to death. An example is the yellow gourd vine.

How to prevent and fight

Being such a big bed bug, it is difficult to fight it in an organic culture, although there are certain remedies that we can apply.

  • In autumn, we have to compost or throw away leftovers pumpkin plants and plants where we could see these insects settled.
  • It’s better do not put padding affected plants since bed bugs like to hide under them.
  • A remedy to be able to catch them easily is to put wood planks near the plants and check them every morning to see if there are any hiding places underneath. We can put on gloves and put a boat with soapy water so that they drown.
  • Pumpkin plants can be covered with a mini greenhouse or microtunnel until flowering so that bees can pollinate them. Or if you prefer, you can pollinate them by hand and always leave them covered.
  • The crop rotation It is a good option to prevent the plague from recurring year after year.
  • can plant tansy and nasturtium around affected plants as they will help repel this pest.
  • In the evening or at night, we can apply a treatment of neem oil to kill young bedbugs.
  • Blue hubbard squash works like trap culturewe plant them far from the crop we want to protect.
  • Bed bugs like to overwinter in weeds, so it is recommended remove weeds.
  • In early spring and summer we can check under the leaves to see if there are any eggs and crush them.
  • Another option is down to the ground in autumn so that they cannot spend the cold season on the ground.

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pumpkin chick how to fight it

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