tl;dr version - How can I keep away destructive insects from the garden, without harming them or pollinators?
So first off, I'm torn between posting this here or the Gardening & Landscaping SE, but I think this would be the right spot because of the ethical concerns I have about trying to avoid killing bugs when I can avoid it.
So I've got a mid-sized home garden. The garden isn't 100% vegan (the base soil used included composted manure), but I'm working on making my own compost to use to amend the soil in the future.
Something I've been struggling with is how to deal with pests in a non-lethal way. Last week one of my zucchini plants was covered in Squash Bug eggs and recently hatched ones. I know that if left unchecked, they'll decimate not just that plant, but several neighboring plants. So what I did was cut off any leaf with the bugs on them, and buried the leaves in the compost pile to prevent spread to other plants. From the heat of the middle of the compost pile, this most likely killed all of the squash bugs. After doing this, I realized that I should really try to find a better way to deal with something like this, that doesn't involve out-right killing them all.
I'm looking to see if anyone's got suggestions for ways to deter initial infestations of plants, without killing bugs that come in contact with the plant. I wouldn't want to spray everything with a chemical that would then kill bees, butterflies, hoverflies, and other pollinators, but I want to keep the more harmful insects away.