Pumpkin Pests (Uninvited Guests)


The pumpkin vines are looking a bit tired and who can blame them?  They’ve been producing lemony-yellow flowers, luxurious vines and fruit since April.

Pumpkin vines

Pumpkin vines, going strong since April

Pumpkins are usually a 90 day crop, so clearly they’re past their prime.  Guess what?  I found two, beautifully formed yellow fruits, basking in the late-season heat.

Pumpkin Newby

Pumpkin Newbie

I also found pumpkin pests.  Are you sensing a theme here?

Pumpkin Pests

Pumpkin pests come in all colors and sizes

pumpkin bugs

Harvest now, before it is too late!!!

I’ve seen these little grey creepers before, but they came late in the season and didn’t seem to hurt the pumpkins. I’ve not been so lucky this year. Since two of the smaller pumpkins were already collapsing, I decided to leave them there, thinking the pests would leave the hardier pumpkins alone.

Well!

Within a few days I found them on my biggest pumpkin, so I decided then and there to harvest the one large fruit. I twisted the pumpkin from the vine, and set it out-of-the-way on the path. When I went back to get it and bring it in the house, I failed to give it the respect it deserved. Ms. Overachiever here tucked the pumpkin under one arm, the kitchen scrap bin under the other and,  if you were reading last Friday, you know what happened.

Thud!!!

Splat!!!

Sad, sad gardener.

cracked pumpkin

Split clean through

Anyhoo…I’ll be sure to include this one in my 31 days of pumpkins in October.

Now, about those pests…

Andrea Meyers identifies these as Squash Bugs (aka Stink Bugs).  You can read more on her beautiful site.

9 thoughts on “Pumpkin Pests (Uninvited Guests)

  1. Eeeek! More critters! That’s really nasty bit of business, what a shame. Gardening is so much harder where you live. Where do these guys come from?
    I hope you’ll have at least one pumpkin for Halloween ! Thank goodness there wasn’t a kitty cat underfoot or even a toe in the way. Sometimes, I’d put dish soap in a spray bottle and soak my roses that got black spot, I think it helped. Maybe it’d do in the bugs.

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    • You’re right! No cats underfoot thank goodness.

      The dish soap idea is a good one. Do you know that I finally just blasted the aphids with a hose. Half of them came back, but M. did it again and they really got the point.

      From what I’ve read, they lay eggs in the soil and and overwinter. I may have encouraged this by planting in compost. What’s a gardener to do?

      It’s scorching hot again, but in a day or too when it cools, I’m going to scoop up whats left. Stay tuned.

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      • Good luck :D I guess the problem with the hose is they’re probably landing in your yard still. Really, probably even if you eradicated YOUR soil, they’d come from a neighbour. An epic battle for sure.

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        • I was just out there checking on them. The pumpkins are small this year, but since they planted themselves I really can’t complain. Every year something different which is half the fun.

          It really is survival of the fittest. Battle on!

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  2. Can anything be made from the broken pumpkin? That’s the problem with perpetual warm weather. We love it and so do the bugs. They’ve had a head start on us time wise. By millions of years. I’ll pray for cooler weather.

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    • Good point, Marlene. I never thought of it that way. I used to take it as a personal garden failure, but you are of course absolutely right.

      I’ll save the pumpkin seeds and I’ll turn them cracked pumpkin into an ‘artful’ blog at some point a long the way. I don’t think it was fully ripe, though close.

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