It’s easy to see why gardeners have a hard time distinguishing squash bugs from stink bugs. Both release a foul odor when crushed and are protected by hard, shield-like shells. They even have similar dining habits. However, there are quite a few differences when it comes to squash bugs versus stink bugs. Jobe’s Organics can help you identify discern between these garden pests and begin to banish them from your green space.

Squash Bugs

If you grow zucchini, pumpkins, and other types of squash, you’ve probably dealt with squash bugs. They’re more than half an inch long with flat backs and brown or gray bodies; nymphs have grey bodies and black legs. Their abdomens sport orange stripes on the edges and underside.

These garden bugs can fly but usually walk from plant to plant in your garden. They are fast movers, travel in groups, and can be found on the bottoms of leaves. They hide out in piles of dead leaves and other outdoor clutter during the winter. Squash bugs mate as leaves are forming and lay groups of dark-colored eggs beneath leaves. Our least favorite habit of these garden pests—injecting toxins into plants and sucking their sap—spells the end for many squash and other plants as their stems wilt and fall.

Stink Bugs

Similar to its squash-loving counterpart, the stink bug destroys plants for their juice. These insects also transmit yeast-spot disease, which slows down plant production. They have few predators (thanks to their not-so-pleasant taste), making the likelihood of spotting stink bugs in the garden much higher.

The shield-shaped bodies of these bugs measure just less than an inch long. Their bodies are almost as wide as they are long. When comparing squash bugs versus stink bugs, you’ll find that the latter is wider and rounder. Stink bugs’ eggs are light-colored, and their bodies are brown, gray, or green.

How to Get Rid of Squash and Stink Bugs in the Garden

Wondering what to do about squash bugs or stink bugs in the garden? Maintaining a tidy, debris-free plot deprives them of an overwintering spot. During the warmer months, spray plant leaves with soapy water to easily demobilize the pests. Better yet, bring a bucket of soapy water into the garden or anywhere you spot these garden insects. Glove up, and start flicking any squash bugs or stink bugs into the bucket.

For all your other gardening needs, check out the many natural and organic products from Jobe’s Organics. We even offer fencing and netting to help fend off larger garden pests. Get the gardening help you need along with the flourishing plants you want without the harsh chemicals.