Help! I need to get rid of squash bugs.
I know Sevin will kill them, but I would like to use a less toxic method.
I have been destroying them manually, but I am losing the battle.
Squash bugs are nasty. They can kill a fully grown healthy plant in less than a couple of weeks (I had it happen a couple of times). Once you have them its not easy to get rid of them naturally. However some hints
Kill the adults, carefully rub the leaves to get the eggs off and kill the young.
Encourage spiders to live in your garden, however the problem is spiders will only kill so much and could lead to getting bit (a large wolf spider bite is very painful, again personal experience)
There are some companion plants that either keep insects away or act as bait plants there are catnip, tansy, radishes, nasturtiums, marigolds, bee balm and mint.
I have heard veggie oil works but I have never tried it personally.
Lastly I also heard some types of squash have more resistance than others. Maybe contacting your local State Ag Department and or 4-H may help. Also try to see if there are any gardening meetup groups in your area.
Timing seems to be everything if you want to meet certified organic standards. Adults overwinter in brush and debris near their last meal. Mild winters allow more adults to overwinter.