Jerry Brust, IPM Vegetable Specialist, University of Maryland; email@example.com
Every year it seems just as pumpkin plants are coming up squash bugs magically appear. This year is no exception as squash bugs were found feeding at the base of 3-5 leaf pumpkin plants (fig. 1). The adults are very difficult to see when they hide out at the base of plants whether the plants are on plastic or in dead mulch. Growers need to be sure to check the base of their pumpkin plants for the adults. Heavy feeding at this early stage of pumpkin development can cause plants to wilt and die or at least fall behind in development by a few weeks. Sprays need to be directed at the base of the plant, using an air-blast sprayer may not get enough material down to the base of the plant.
Fig. 1 Squash bugs feeding at base of pumpkin plant