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Preventive Control

Natural enemies


Trichopoda pennipes is a Tachinid fly species that is as big as the housefly. The adult fly is brightly colored with a gold and black thorax and an orange abdomen. It has a fringe of feather-like black hairs on the outer side of the hind legs. The fly develops in the nymph and adult stink bug or squash bug. The female tachinid fly lays its eggs on the body of the bug, completes its cycle inside the bug's body, and the bug dies upon the fly's emergence.


  1. Ground beetles
  2. Praying mantis
  3. Predatory mites
  4. Spiders


Check for nymphs and adults from seedling until flowering stages. These are the critical stages where heavy damage can occur. Threshold level is reached when there is more than 1 egg mass/plant. Control measures should be taken when the threshold is reached and/or when wilting occurs due to squash bug infestation.

Management and cultural practices

  1. Plant squash as trap crop when planting cucumber, watermelon, and/or pumpkin as the main crop. Squash is the bug's most preferred plant. Plant squash along the border of the field (Keupper: Thomas, 2001) or among the main crop. Since they normally stay in a group, control measures would be easier.
  2. Marigold, radish, nasturtiums, mint species (Keupper: Thomas, 2001), tansy, and catnip (Ellis: Bradley, 1996) repel squash bugs.
  3. Practice crop rotation. Rotate cucurbits every cropping season with other crops to suppress the supply of their favorite plants.
  4. Remove crop debris after harvesting as the squash bugs continue feeding and breeding on abandoned plantings.
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