As I checked out the patch this morning, here’s what I found:
The GOOD-nice looking Polar Bear pumpkins, maturing gourds, and an amazing spider among other pollinators
The BAD-squash bug eggs and hatchlings
The UGLY-a spot of “stressed” plants covered with black insects
I was concerned about these ugly bugs and vines, so I collected some sample insects, snapped some pictures with my tablet (loving the help of technology), and headed to Stutzman Garden Center. The diagnosis was good-those are not aphids or mites, just some gnats attracted to the pumpkin nearby that had been nibbled on by some critter. The critter is most likely to blame for the damaged vines too. Whew!