Pollinator health and pest control in pumpkin and squash farms

… also known as the “P⁵ Project” (Pesticides, Pests, Pollinators, and Pumpkin Production)

USDA-SCRI logoPesticides help control damaging crop pests, but may harm pollinators and other beneficial insects. In pumpkins and other cucurbits, pollinators are essential for fruit production. This study is part of a tri-state effort to investigate trade-offs between pest control and pollinator health in  cucurbits.

Squash bee pollinating pumpkin

In Ohio, we collected data on pests and pollinators on pumpkin and winter squash farms that are managed in a variety of ways. We aim to develop best management practices that control important pests, like cucumber beetles, protect pollinators from pesticides, especially neonicotinoids, improve yields and minimize costs.


Here is a brochure I made, introducing the squash bee (Peponapis pruinosa) as a key pollinator for Cucurbita crops in our region.