Curcubit Pests

Cucumbers, pumpkins, summer and winter squash are all from the Cucurbitaceae or gourd family. And being from the same family (as in taxonomic rank), all varieties of curcubits can succumb to the same diseases and pests.

minicuke flowerAt this stage of the growing season (i.e. late June), curcubits typically are flowering and getting ready to set fruit. One may even be seeing fruit on the vines of these plants. But now is the time to beware of common problems associated with these plants in the home garden.

Squash beetles, squash bugs, and squash vine borers are prevalent in northeast Illinois. These pests specifically target curcubits in all forms but there are methods to take that can eradicate or mitigate their effect on the plant’s health. Powdery mildew is another common problem associated with curcubits and can be avoided if they are well-spaced in the garden and located in full sun.

Here is some useful information on how to deal with these problems from the Illinois Extension: Good Growing–The Trouble with Curcubits.