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Eggplants may appear to be picky; they have certain conditions, including constant moisture, nutrient-rich soil, sunlight, warmth, and little wind.
They will abundantly produce the fruits for our eggplant parmigiana and other recipes if they are well-maintained and sprinkled with good fortune.
This article will go through the common diseases and insect pests that afflict eggplants as well as the appropriate remedies.
Eggplant Insect Pests And Diseases
One of the most common problems encountered when growing eggplant is defoliation by insects. These insects tend to feast on the leaves and the fruit itself.
Below are the 17 insect pests and diseases that cause damage to the eggplant. They include:
1. Tomato Hornworm
If you have ever noticed a large hole or even a bite on the fruits or the leaves of your eggplant, then it means that there is a presence of an insect pest called, “Tomato Hornworm or Manduca quinquemaculata.”
This is a very harmful pest that doesn’t just affect eggplants, it also affects other plants such as tomato, potato, and pepper plants. It tends to eat up parts of the fruit, leaves and stems.
It’s important to note some other insects share a similar method with this pest, especially the blister beetles.
To get rid of this pest, you must ensure that:
A. There is always proper garden sanitation. Doing so will help in controlling the pest from spreading out.
B. Another method is through handpicking the pests off the plants. It can be very helpful.
C. If your eggplant has already been feasted on or you have noticed the symptoms, you should spray the part with Sevin or Pyrethrum.
2. Colorado Potato Beetle
Colorado potato beetle which is also known as Leptinotarsa decemlineata is a black and yellow-striped beetle that feasts on eggplant, potato, tomatoes, and other related crops.
It chews the leaves of the plant and the leaf’s skeleton remains.
A. The best way of getting rid of this pest is to handpick them off the plant especially when it is a mild infestation or a drop of soapy water.
While handpicking these pests, it is important to know that the more larva you are removing, other more will be developing beneath the soil. So to make it more effective, you should ensure that you cultivate the soil deeply to kill any further pests from resurfacing.
B. Also, if it is in the early stage, it can be controlled through the use of Bacillus thuringiensis.
C. Ensure that you keep the garden free of plant debris.
D. If your garden is large, you should consider using chemical methods.
3. Pepper Maggots
This is also one of the common pests that damage the eggplant as well as other related crops. The presence of this pest in your plant can be noticed when there is a small, irregular oval-shaped hole on your plant.
A. To reduce the populations of the pest, you make ensure that there is sanitation, and crop rotation which has been seen to be helpful.
B. The use of Neem oil will help control populations as well.
4. Root Knot Nematodes
If your plant is showing signs of knotting at the root of your plant or it is readily dry and stunts when touched. It indicates the presence of root-knot nematodes.
This pest is a minute translucent worm that injects toxins into the plant roots.
A. The best method of getting rid of this pest is through the use of Fish emulsion which is believed to help counter nematode toxins, although this has not been scientifically proven.
B. Also, you should try Interplanting the eggplant with marigolds. Once infested Predator Nematodes will control the populations of parasitic ones.
The green peach aphid (Myzus persicae) is the most common pest that damages the plant by making the leaves curled, deformed, and discoloured.
A. Hand-picking isn’t helpful because the pest is too small tribe small as they are too small and numerous
B. Hot Pepper Wax helps to repel aphids from your plants. All you have to do is to re-applied it frequently.
C. Another remedy is the use of Neem oil which is the safest and surest eco-friendly mode of Aphid control and can be used together with predatory strategies such as Lady Bugs.
Read Also: How to use Natural Vinegar Spray for Aphids
Among all the different types of whiteflies, the silverleaf also known as Bemisia argentifolii is the most predominant species of whitefly that affects eggplants. It leaves that plant wilt and discolouration.
A. To get rid of this pest, the use of Insecticidal soap can be used to help against whiteflies.
B. You can trap whiteflies with Tanglefoot spread on a yellow card or yellow sticky traps.
7. Leaf Hopper
Leafhopper pest attacks the plant leaves leaving them limp, scorched, and wilted.
They aren’t the regular pests that appear in every season, rather they are regarded as occasional insect pests.
The best remedy is through ensuring that you regularly dust the plants lightly by using diatomaceous earth as a deterrent.
If your seedlings are sheared off at the soil level, then it shows that cutworms are affecting the plants.
These pests mostly feed off the plant at night making it hard to notice when it crawls out.
A. Hand-picking the grubs Which are from the soil around the plant base is one of the ways to get rid of these pests.
B. Ensure that you keep your garden clean and free from plant debris.
C. For a quick solution, you can use Bacillus thuringiensis to kill the cutworms. It is available for home gardeners and vice versa.
9. Flea Beetles
Eggplant is a favourite host of multiple species of flea beetles, which are mostly in the genus Epitrix. They only feast on eggplants
They not only attack eggplant, but also seedlings of tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, radishes, and corn.
A. You can handpick beetles in mild infestations if feasible.
B. Do your best to keep the garden free from plants and keep the garden free of plant debris. Cultivate the soil deeply to destroy any more larvae in early spring.
C. Cedarcide is an effective deterrent to flea Beetles and a large array of other insect pests.
When thrips feast on an eggplant, it leaves white spots on it.
They are usually yellow, brown to black very small flying insects with fringed wings. They scrape and scar plant tissue as they feed.
A. Proper garden sanitation, such as Keeping the garden weed-free is a good preventative measure.
B. Spray insecticidal soap or dust with diatomaceous earth.
11. Spider Mites
The spider mite is another pest that damages eggplants when cultivated.
The Two-spotted spider mite (Tetranychus urticae) which is the most attacking eggplant pest may become a pest on eggplant foliage, especially after the use of broad-spectrum insecticides.
A. You can get rid of this pest by spraying water on the plants.
B. You can also use insecticidal soap or rotenone for permanent control.
When you notice a foamy white froth on the plant stem, it shows that a spittlebug is present in the plant.
The best way to get rid of this pest is through the use of Insecticides.
Let’s look at the various eggplant diseases. They include:
13. Blossom End Rot
Blossom End Rot is caused by temporary insufficiency of water and calcium.
The soil may have a calcium imbalance inhibiting the uptake of water.
So, adding limestone can help in boosting its steak and soil if the pH is below 6.0. It may also occur under high temperatures when the eggplants are rapidly growing.
14. Physiological Leaf Roll
The eggplant disease free which is known as a Physiological leaf roll.
It is not caused by fungus or bacteria, or even insects. It is generally a reaction to climatic conditions.
To manage it, the best thing to do to treat this disease is to keep the plants evenly watered. But if the issue persists as the weather improves, you might have a nutrient deficiency.
15. Soil Rot
Soil rot is mostly caused by soil-borne fungus and generally occurs during rainy periods.
The spots are sunken, large, and may have a closely-spaced bulls-eye pattern. Sometimes it causes the eggplant to crack open.
So to avoid this, you have to keep the fruits away from the ground.
16. Bacterial Wilt
Bacterial wilt (caused by Ralstonia solanacearum) is a serious bacterial disease that causes sudden wilting of the plant. The entire plant withers and dies quickly following infection. The pith inside the stem turns reddish-brown, and there is relatively little yellowing of the leaves.
To avoid bacterial wilt, do not plant eggplant in areas that have had tomatoes, Irish potatoes, or eggplant planted in the previous three years.
Proper crop rotation is important in helping to avoid the buildup of soilborne pathogens.
17. Phytophthora Blight
Phytophthora blight which is caused by Phytophthora capsici or P. nicotianae is a water mold that may attack eggplant roots, leaves, stems, or fruit.
The symptoms include dark streaking on the upper branches of the plant, followed by the rapid collapse of the plant and death.
To manage this eggplant disease, you must avoid excessive soil moisture as much as possible.
1. What Is The Most Common Insect Pest Of Eggplant?
The most common insect plants are the eggplant flea beetle and eggplant lace bug, but two-spotted spider mites can be more damaging.
2. What Are The Diseases Of Eggplant?
Below are the 9 Diseases that can damage your Eggplant. They are as follows:
A. Bacterial Wilt/Southern Wilt (Ralstonia solanacearum)
B. Cercospora Leaf Spot (Cercospora spp.)
C. Damping Off (Pythium spp., Fusarium spp.)
D. Alternaria Rot (Alternaria alternata)
E. Anthracnose Fruit Rot (Colletotrichum spp.)
F. Fusarium Wilt (Fusarium oxysporum f.)
3. How Do You Control Eggplant Mites?
Using cultural controls & prevention, the best thing to do is to:
A. Avoid weedy fields and do not plant eggplant adjacent to legume forage crops.
B. Also, you need to avoid early-season, broad-spectrum insecticide applications for other pests.
C. Do not over-fertilize. Preferably, the outbreaks may be worsened by excess nitrogen fertilization.
4. What Pesticides And Insecticides Are Used On Eggplant?
The insecticides used by vegetable farmers on eggplant include profenofos, triazophos, chlorpyrifos, cypermethrin, and malathion.
5. What Is A Fungal Disease In Eggplant?
One of the most common fungal diseases of eggplant in home and community gardens is the Cercospora leaf spot. This disease weakens plants and reduces yields by causing the pre-mature defoliation of infected leaves.
6. What Is The Bacterial Disease In Eggplant?
Bacterial wilt (BW), caused by Ralstonia solanacearum, is a major limiting factor for eggplant (Solarium melongena) production in the tropics and subtropics.
The pathogen is difficult to control because it is soilborne and has a wide host range.
7. What Is The Best Herbicide For Eggplant?
The only organically approved herbicide registered for use in eggplants is GreenMatch, a broad-spectrum post-emergent-directed herbicide that burns down emerged weeds.
This product only kills small, emerged weeds on contact and has no soil activity or residual.
If you have read through this article, we hope that you have properly understood the various pests and diseases that can affect your eggplants and how best to tackle each one of them.
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