Squash bugs and cucumber beetles

We had such a hard time with squash bugs and cucumber beetles last year that we thought about lightweight fabric covers this year. The problem was so bad last year that we just dug them up and burnt them. Never had this big an issue before and never used the row covers before.

Can you tell me how this would effect the pollination of the plants? Would they bear fruit or would the fruit be greatly reduced?

We are planting this year in a different garden on the 5 acres so they are not in the same area as last year.

Nana From Texas

Squash bugs and cucumber beetles can sure make a gardener sick. Yes, a floating row cover will help a great deal and no, it doesn’t usually affect pollination at all. Other treatments can include picking and squashing all visible bugs and eggs under the leaves early in the year and spraying with neem oil and/or Surround. By burning your plants last year, you will probably not have as great an invasion as you did last. But it pays to be vigilant anyway! Good luck. — Jackie


You mention “antibiotics” a couple of times, but how is one supposed to get these meds when they are so tightly controlled? I have access to animal-grade antibiotics, but are these safe for humans?

Bob Harris
Barnesville, Minnesota

Many doctors will give you a prescription for antibiotics if you tell them you will be traveling to a remote area and would like some on hand in case of a serious cold that turns into a bacterial infection or some such plausible reason. Others will not. Antibiotics are antibiotics, regardless if they are labeled for veterinary or human use. My late husband, while in vet school, went to several drug manufacturing companies and watched the assembly line divide with some bottles receiving a human label and others, a veterinary label. Of course, doctors would be horrified to hear you’re considering taking “veterinary” antibiotics! But they’re sure better than NO antibiotics in a life or death situation. — Jackie


  1. I got antibiotics for one of my cats once, it was the bubblegum flavored amoxicillin they give children.

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