Garden Care

Will Sevin Dust Kill Squash Bugs? Yes Or No

Sevin dust is a popular insecticide commonly used in gardens to control pests

And if you want to grow squash crops in your garden (pumpkins, butternut squashes, etc.), then squash bugs will be one of the biggest problems you have to deal with.

These tiny bugs suck out the sap of your plants, causing them to wilt and grow unevenly.

Many gardeners have used Sevin dust to try and cull the squash bug population in their gardens… but will Sevin Dust kill squash bugs?

Yes! Sevin dust can kill squash bugs upon contact and is a highly effective way to deal with an infestation. There are caveats, however.

In this article, we will examine in detail the effectiveness of Sevin dust in controlling squash bugs. See for yourself if it’s the right pesticide for you!

will Sevin Dust kill squash bugs
Sevin dust is a very popular insecticide.

What Are Squash Bugs?

Squash bugs (Anasa tristis) are insects that feed on the leaves and stems of squash plants.

They’ll attack any type of squash and cucurbits, like pumpkins, melons, and gourds (squash bugs are one of the many reasons why your zucchini plants wilt).

The bugs will land on the leaves of the plants, then use their mouthpieces to suck out the sap within.

As the sap is vital to the plant’s normal functioning, this can cause significant damage to your crops. On the site of the bite, the plant’s leaves will yellow and wilt.

Larger plants may be able to tolerate squash bugs, but smaller plants may eventually die from losing too much of their sap.

Fortunately, unlike many other pests like cucumber beetles, squash bugs don’t carry diseases. But that doesn’t mean they’re not a threat.

Whenever you see traces of these bugs on your crops, you should make a “treatment plan” and get rid of them.

Will Sevin Dust Kill Squash Bugs?

does Sevin kill squash bug
An adult squash bug

If you’re wondering does Sevin kill squash bugs, then yes, it is highly effective against them! The actual mechanism of action will depend on the type that you pick.

For example, if you pick Sevin Insect Killer Dust Ready-to-Use, the powdery insecticide will come as a shaker. You can use it like a salt shaker and coat the powder on the leaves of your plants.

Make sure not to apply too much and just make a thin coating on the top and underside of your plant’s leaves.

When squash bugs land on the leaves and makes contact with the insecticidal dust, they will instantly die.

On the other hand, if you use other forms like Sevin Insect Killer Concentrate, they’ll come in the form of a pump that you can use to spray over your entire garden. 

The concentrate form will still kill squash bugs in the same way as the dust (instantaneously).

However, in the concentrated form, the insecticidal effect will last longer on your plant. It can offer up to three months of protection from the date of application.

Do note that while all kinds of Sevin Dust will kill live squash bugs, they cannot kill their eggs (more on that later!)

How to Identify Squash Bugs

But before you can make good use of Sevin Dust squash bugs, it’s worth learning how to differentiate squash bugs from other pests and insects in the garden.

Squash bugs have a pretty distinctive appearance. Adult specimens are usually about 1/2 inch long, with a flat, grayish-brown body and wings.

They’ll typically have brown and yellow stripes on their abdomens, which is the most telling sign.

These bugs are egg-laying insects. You’ll typically find big clusters of squash bug eggs on the underside of leaves (that’s also where they tend to congregate).

Their eggs have a yellowish to bronze color and are very small, only about 1/16-inch long or so.

These eggs will eventually hatch and produce nymphs. They’re very small, only about 1/10 to 1/2 inches or so.

How Does Sevin Dust Kill Squash Bugs?

Now that we know the answer to “Will 7 dust kill squash bugs” (yes), how does it work?

Sevin Dust will kill squash bugs by contact action. That means the moment the bug touches a particle of Sevin Dust; it’ll flip over and die.

This is because the insecticide contains the active ingredient carbaryl, which acts as a nerve poison that interferes with the bug’s nervous system. The poisoned bug will become paralyzed and eventually die.

The bug absorbs the poison through its exoskeleton, so even a touch is fatal. It is also a stomach poison, which means if the bug ingests treated plant material, it will also die.

Safety Considerations When Using Sevin Dust

Sevin Dust for squash bugs
Sevin in spray form is applied to a tree

Sevin Dust may be very easy to use, but you shouldn’t forget that it’s poisonous. While it’s made to be as safe as possible for humans, it’s still not healthy to have it on your skin or to breathe it in.

That’s why a few safety precautions must be taken when handling this chemical.

Wear Protective Gear

Wear protective gear (gloves and masks). They will protect your skin from coming into direct contact with the chemical and keep you from breathing it in.

A mask is especially important if you’re using Sevin Dust for squash bugs in spray form.

Excessive exposure to carbaryl can cause a wide range of symptoms, including irritation to the eyes and skin, vomiting, and convulsions. Take care.

Keep Out of Children’s and Pets’ Reach

Obviously, since Sevin for squash bugs is an industrial chemical, keep it out of the reach of children and pets. 

Don’t Use Sevin Dust on Flowering Plants

Sevin Dust is toxic to bees and other pollinators, so avoid using it on plants that are in bloom or likely to attract them. You’re trying to kill the harmful squash bugs, not the helpful bees!

Follow label instructions

Read and follow the label instructions carefully. It can tell you about a lot more things than what is Sevin Dust used for.

Information on the label includes dosage, application methods, and safety precautions. Reading it thoroughly is highly recommended for first-time users of this chemical.


Now that we’ve answered the most pressing question (Does 7 dust kill squash bugs)… let’s turn to some of the popular questions that our readers asked us!

When Should I Put Sevin Dust In The Garden?

When you notice signs of pest damage on your plants, you know that it’s time to bring out the canister of Sevin Dust.

On the back of the box, you’ll find detailed instructions from the manufacturer on how to apply it and when to apply it.

Applying Sevin Dust in the early morning or late evening when temperatures are cooler may also be beneficial.

That way, the active ingredient won’t evaporate. Plus, you’ll also be able to avoid interfering with any pollinators that come to your garden!

What Bugs Does Sevin Dust Kill?

Sevin Dust is a wide-spectrum insecticide, meaning it can kill many kinds of pests that may plague your garden. Other than Sevin squash bugs, this type of insecticide is also effective against:

  • Aphids (while they may look nasty, aphids are safe to eat!)
  • Ants
  • Beetles
  • Caterpillars
  • Chinch bugs
  • Earwigs
  • Grasshoppers
  • Japanese beetles
  • Spiders
  • Ticks
  • Wasps

As always, when you purchase it, it’ll come with information on what kind of pests it’s effective against. You can double-check the info there.

How Long Does It Take Sevin Dust To Kill Bugs?

Sevin Dust begins to kill pests upon contact. Still, the exact time it takes to kill will depend on several factors, including the size and type of pest, environmental conditions, and the amount and method of application.

Since squash bugs are so small, a single application of Sevin Dust can kill them immediately.

For larger pests, the poison can start to work within hours.

According to the manufacturer, the protective effect will last up to 3 to 14 days after application.

However, this can vary based on rainfall, humidity, and other environmental conditions. All of these factors can affect the longevity of the active ingredients.


Squash bugs are an annoyance when they show up in your garden. But fortunately, they’re not serious threats, owing to their inability to carry any harmful disease.

With an application of Sevin Dust, you’ll be able to cull an infestation pretty effectively!Now you get the answer to the question: will sevin dust kill squash bugs? We hope this guide has been of use to you.

If you have any other questions you’d like to ask, the comment section’s open. We’ll get back to you as soon as we can!

Samuel Mark

Hello I am Samuel. Samuel's Garden is a garden blog where I share my experiences in garden caring and tree growth. Hope you enjoy it!

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