Squash Bug (Anasa tristis)
Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Squash Bug.
Updated: 3/29/2018; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
Common Name: Squash Bug
Scientific Name: Anasa tristis
Category: True Bug
Size (Adult; Length): 15mm to 17mm (0.59in to 0.66in)
Identifying Colors: gray; black; brown; orange; yellow
Additional Identifiers: flying, bands, stripes
Smelly little Squash Bugs can ruin fruit and vegetable plants and their ability to survive winters can make them a chronic pest.
Squash bugs are similar in appearance to Stink bugs. Both emit an odor when crushed, but squash bugs tend to feed on melons and squash while stink bugs feed on legumes like beans and peas. Squash Bugs suck on the juices of plant stems, leaves and fruits, leaving gaping wounds that eventually destroy the part of the plant they are feeding from.
This hardy insect can survive the winter by hiding in beds of dead leaves and other debris. If they cannot find adequate shelter, they will die in the frost. Clearing yards of leaf litter and debris can help in preventing a backyard infestation from returning the next summer.
Females lay hoards of eggs under leaves of plants they drink from. The brown metallic eggs will hatch and the young powdery nymphs are green with pinkish-red legs. They will feed on the leaves of the plant, causing them to dry out. Weather permitting, one or two generations can be produced every year.