Remove insect eggs with a lint roller

Remove insect eggs in your garden with a lint roller

For the gardener who wants to limit damage to crops and vegetables you should consider how to remove insect eggs. Preventing the eggs from ever hatching because they’ve been removed from the garden entirely is far more effective than spraying.

This past spring I had someone share with me a tip that makes the task of removing insect eggs in your garden much easier.  He uses an inexpensive lint roller to remove insect eggs. You can buy a travel sized lint roller like the one in the picture below at Walmart for 99 cents.

lint roller used to remove insect eggs in the garden
lint roller used to remove insect eggs in the garden

An alternative to lint rollers

If you don’t want to go buy a lint roller to remove those pesky eggs you might have a roll of sticky tape like duct tape around the home.  Pull of 8 to 10 inches of it and stick itself together in a loop with the adhesive side out.  With one hand hold the tape and apply your other hand on the opposite of the leaf to give you something to press against.  Touch the tape to the eggs and apply light pressure until all the eggs are removed.

These squash bug eggs were removed with a piece of duct tape
remove squash bug eggs with duct tape

When eggs are laid next to large leaf veins

With crops like zucchini where there is a large vein on the backside of the leaf the duct tape actually works better than the lint roller.  When the eggs are laid next to those large veins the round lint roller will roll onto the vein and pass right over several eggs.  In these instances the duct tape works better.  When pruning and removing insect eggs from our squash plants I now use only the duct tape.

use duct tape for squash bug eggs laid next to a large leaf vein
squash bug eggs laid next to a large leaf vein

Watch insect eggs get removed with a lint roller

After trying it I had to get a little video to show just how well it works.  Typically we use the lint roller on cabbage, broccoli, kale and cauliflower.

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