Controlling Squash Bugs (Anasa tristis) Using Cover Crops and Organic Insecticides

Project Overview

Project Type: Graduate Student
Funds awarded in 2014: $2,436.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2016
Grant Recipient: University of Georgia
Region: Southern
State: Georgia
Graduate Student:
Major Professor:

Annual Reports


  • Vegetables: cucurbits


  • Crop Production: cover crops, intercropping
  • Natural Resources/Environment: biodiversity
  • Pest Management: biological control, botanical pesticides, disease vectors, integrated pest management
  • Production Systems: agroecosystems, organic agriculture

    Proposal abstract:

    With increased interest in organic vegetable production, growers need reliable information on how to control common pests. Squash bugs (Anasa tristis) inflict serious damage to cucurbits each year and are notoriously difficult to manage. Intercropping vegetables with certain covers crops has proven to increase beneficial insect activity and decrease insect pest populations (McNeil et al 2012). This project will evaluate alternatives for control of squash bugs using organic methods. First, the effect of various covers crops on both squash bugs and beneficial insect populations will be evaluated in field trials. A separate greenhouse experiment will determine the effect of cover crops on attracting or repelling squash bugs. And third, several OMRI (Organic Materials Research Institute) approved sprays will evaluated for effect on squash bugs.

    Project objectives from proposal:

    1) Evaluate cover crops as a strategy to decrease squash bug damage in summer squash 
    a) Evaluate effectiveness of cover crops as method of attracting beneficial insects 
    b) Evaluate effectiveness of cover crops as a repellant for squash bugs 
    2) Evaluate OMRI -approved insecticides for squash bug control

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.