Learn About Eggplant Pests And Diseases
Eggplant Problems: Eggplant Pests And Diseases
- 1 Eggplant Problems: Eggplant Pests And Diseases
- 2 Growing Eggplant
- 3 Dealing with Eggplant Pests
- 4 Eggplant Diseases in the Garden
- 5 Eggplant Feeding Guide – Learn How To Fertilize Eggplants
- 6 How to Fertilize Eggplants
- 7 Types of Eggplant Fertilizer
- 8 Common Questions about Eggplant Leaves
- 9 Controlling and Treating Flea Beetles On Eggplant
- 10 Treating Pests That Attack Your Coleus
- 11 What’s your question? Ask
- 12 Top Questions About Eggplant Plants
- 13 Q. Aubergine and Pepper Plant
- 14 Q. Should Eggplants Be Pinched?
- 15 Q. Help! Issues With Eggplant Little Seedlings…
- 16 How to Identify and Control Houseplant Pests
- 17 About Houseplant Pests
- 18 Aphids / Greenfly / Blackfly
- 19 Mealybugs
- 20 Red Spider Mites
- 21 Scale Insects
- 22 Sciarid flies / Fungus gnats
- 23 Slugs / Snails
- 24 Springtails
Eggplant is a commonly grown warm-season vegetable noted for its great flavor, egg shape and dark violet color. Several other varieties can be grown in the home garden as well. They consist of various colors and sizes, all of which can add unique flavor to many recipes or as stand-alone side dishes. Eggplant problems and eggplant pests can occur from time to time when growing eggplant; however, with the proper care, they can usually be prevented.
Eggplants are cold sensitive and shouldn’t be placed in the garden too early. Wait until the soil has sufficiently warmed and all threat of frost has ceased. These plants require full sun and well-drained soil amended with organic matter.
When growing eggplants, space them about a foot or two apart, as they can become rather large. Since eggplants are susceptible to many pests and diseases, the use of collars or row covers on young plants may be necessary to reduce common eggplant problems.
Dealing with Eggplant Pests
Lace bugs and flea beetles are common eggplant bugs. Other eggplant bugs that affect these plants include:
The best way to deal with eggplant bugs is by using collars and row covers until the plants are large enough to withstand attacks, at which time insecticidal soap can be used to alleviate pest problems.
To prevent eggplant bugs, it may also help to keep weeds and other debris to a minimum and rotate crops every other year or so. Introducing natural predators, such as ladybugs, often helps minimize eggplant problems associated with aphids.
Eggplant Diseases in the Garden
There are several eggplant diseases that affect these crops. Some of the most common include blossom end rot, wilt diseases, and various types of blight. Many of these eggplant diseases can be eliminated or prevented by practicing crop rotation, reducing weed growth, and providing adequate spacing and uniform watering.
- Blossom end rot, as found in tomatoes, is caused from fungus due to overwatering and affects ripe fruit. Round, leathery, sunken spots appear on fruit ends with the affected fruit eventually dropping from the plant.
- Bacterial wilt can cause plants to suddenly droop, from the bottom to the top, turning yellow. Affected plants eventually wither up and die.
- Verticillium wilt is similar to bacterial wilt but is caused by soil-borne fungal infections. Plants may become stunted, turn yellow, and wilt.
- Southern blightis also caused by fungus and plants exhibit softening of the crown and root tissues. Mold may also be seen on the stems and surrounding soil.
- Phomopsis blight usually affects fruits of eggplant, which begin as sunken spots that eventually enlarge and become soft and spongy. Leaves and stems, especially seedlings, may develop gray or brown spots first.
- Phytophthora blight, which also affects peppers, can quickly destroy eggplants. Plants will get dark streaks prior to collapsing and dying.
Eggplant Feeding Guide – Learn How To Fertilize Eggplants
If you’re looking to harvest larger yields of eggplant, fertilizer may help. Plants use energy from the sun and nutrients from the soil for growth and food production. Some garden vegetables, like peas and beans, need fewer added nutrients. Others, like eggplants, are considered heavy feeders.
How to Fertilize Eggplants
Eggplants grow best in a compost-rich, fertile soil under full sun. Feeding eggplants during their growing and fruiting stages improves the overall health of the plant. Healthy plants produce larger fruit in greater quantities. In addition, when growing some varieties of eggplant, fertilizer may reduce bitterness caused by plant stress.
Many gardeners begin the growing season by incorporating compost and fertilizer into the garden soil prior to planting. This gives young eggplants a boost of nutrients for a healthy start. Having garden soil tested takes the guesswork out of how much and what type of fertilizer to use.
Soil testing provides an NPK analysis, which tells gardeners how much nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium is needed to balance and amend their garden soil. Plants use nitrogen for green growth and the construction of chlorophyll. Phosphorus benefits the formation of new roots and is used in flower, fruit and seed production. Potassium contributes to stem strength, disease resistance and growth.
Periodic eggplant feeding during the growing season also helps these heavy feeders with setting and producing fruit. A balanced fertilizer (10-10-10) is often recommended for eggplant. Feeding too much nitrogen at this point can result in large, leafy plants that fail to produce fruit.
Types of Eggplant Fertilizer
Fertilizers can be chemically manufactured or come from natural sources such as plant matter, animal manures or minerals found in rock. Some gardeners prefer bagged fertilizers since the NPK rating is listed on the label. Aged manures, leaves, grass clippings and compost from one’s own backyard or from neighboring properties can be obtained for free, but lack a guaranteed NPK analysis. This material can be worked into soil or used as a mulch.
Powdered, pelleted or granular fertilizers can be applied as a side dressing between rows or to soil at the base of the eggplant. Fertilizer applied in this manner should be worked into the dirt to prevent heavy precipitation from splashing fertilizer onto the plant.
Since plants can absorb nutrients through their leaves, foliar feeding eggplants is an alternative method for fertilizing. Eggplants that are underperforming are the best candidates. Use a commercial liquid fertilizer designed for foliar feeding or make your own from diluted manure tea. Apply this liquid as a fine spray, early in the morning when ambient temperatures are cool.
Finally, when in doubt about how to fertilize eggplants, gardeners can’t go wrong when choosing a quality tomato fertilizer. Like tomatoes, eggplants are also members of the nightshade family and have similar nutritional needs. Of course, feeding eggplants can create a problem – it can make you the envy of all your eggplant loving friends!
Common Questions about Eggplant Leaves
Eggplants (Solanum melongena) are members of the nightshade family, which is the same family as tomatoes. Depending on the cultivar, eggplants can grow over 4 feet tall on woody stems covered in thick, fuzzy and large green leaves. The leaves tell a lot about the plant’s health and whether you need to deal with pesky pests. If your eggplant’s leaves are yellowing, spotting, beginning to curl and show signs something’s been munching on them, it’s time to diagnose and control the problem.
What Pests Eat Eggplant Leaves?
Many types of pests can cause damage to your eggplant leaves. The most common pest that infests eggplants is the flea beetle. If you notice multiple, tiny holes on the eggplant foliage, then flea beetles are the cause.
You can control flea beetle infestation organically by planting companion plants that attract flea beetles, keeping them off your eggplants. You can also spread plastic mulch around the base of your eggplants, preventing flea beetles and other insects from coming up through the soil.
The following insects also eat eggplant leaves:
- Cucumber beetles
Why Are Eggplant Leaves Turning Yellow?
Eggplant leaves can turn yellow if they’re not getting enough water, or if the temperature rises above 85°F (29°C). If your eggplant leaves have yellow edges and tips, then the cause is verticillium wilt.
This disease eventually turns the whole leaf yellow, then it spreads to the entire plant. The fungus that causes verticillium wilt lives in the soil, and reappears every year. Planting resistant eggplant varieties can prevent the fungus, or moving your garden to a new location also prevents the disease.
Why Are Eggplant Leaves Curling?
If you notice your eggplant leaves curling, and have blotchy green patches, then one reason could be the cucumber mosaic virus. This virus causes misshapen leaves that have a deformed, curled, shoestring appearance. This disease infects many of the nightshade family plants, causing stunted growth. It does not live in the soil, but aphids spread it to the eggplants. Using organic pest control can help prevent the disease.
Are Eggplant Leaves Edible?
Eggplant fruit is nutritious and flavorful, with only 38 calories in one cup. It’s also a great source of fiber, potassium and iron, but the leaves and stems are another story.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture, eggplant leaves are toxic and narcotic, like many members of the nightshade family, so they are inedible . The alkaline known as solanine is the toxic part of the eggplant leaves and flowers. Solanine causes symptoms, such as nausea, drowsiness, fever, weakness and vomiting.
Controlling and Treating Flea Beetles On Eggplant
Posted on May 25, 2010 by Admin in Vegetable Gardening Tips // 5 Comments
If you have ever walked out to the vegetable garden and seen many holes in some of your vegetables it is most likely the result of flea beetles. Flea beetles are very tiny (about 1/10 of an inch in length) insects that chew holes in the leaves of many plants. They are called flea beetles because they can quickly jump out of sight when the plant they are damaging is suddenly disturbed. Flea beetles have some vegetables they prefer over others, especially eggplant. They also enjoy bok choy, mustard greens and radish leaves. Typically mature eggplant can handle the attack of a few flea beetles, but young seedlings can be quickly devastated by a small swarm.
There are some practices you can use in your vegetable garden to protect your young eggplant from these ruthless leaf munchers. Here are a few tactics for preventing and treating flea beetles on eggplant.
Try growing vegetables in different areas of your vegetable garden each year. This is simply called crop rotation. Avoid growing eggplant in the same general area year after year. A good way to track your crop rotation from one year to the next is to develop a solid garden plan each year. By going back and looking at your garden plan from the previous year you can strategically rotate crops. This can play an important role in controlling flea beetles on your eggplant.
Use Plastic Mulch
If you lay down black or red plastic mulch in your vegetable garden in early spring, it can help to control flea beetle larvae from coming back up. The plastic mulch will block the larvae and thus help to control their populations. Using some straw or bark mulches around eggplant can give the flea beetles a good place to hide. If using straw mulches pull the mulch away from eggplant seedlings until they begin maturing. Once the eggplant has matured to a well established height, replace the straw mulch around them.
Plant A Trap Crop
The idea behind using a trap crop is to plant something near the eggplant that the flea beetles find more desirable. As mentioned previously, flea beetles love radishes, mustard greens and bok choy. Plant these near, or around, your eggplant to help keep the flea beetles preoccupied. The flea beetles will pounce on the trap crop and forget about your precious eggplant.
A great trap crop for flea beetles is radishes. Radishes grow quickly and they are small enough to be grown between eggplants. It’s a good idea to sow the radish seeds and allow them to sprout before planting the eggplant. If you go out and see holes in the radish leaves you know flea beetles are present. This is a great way to check to see if flea beetles may be a problem before you transplant the eggplant seedlings.
Use Sticky Traps
You can also use yellow or white sticky traps around your eggplants to catch the flea beetles. Use some sticky fly paper cut into small squares and place around your eggplant. Give the eggplant a gentle shake- the flea beetles will jump off and land on the sticky paper squares. Place several of these around your eggplant for a good trapping system.
A good organic solution is to apply nematodes to your vegetable garden area. The nematodes will attack and kill the flea beetle larvae and eggs in the soil. The best way to prevent flea beetles is to get them before they have a chance to hatch and spread. Nematodes will get the flea beetles before they even have a chance to jump on your eggplant.
Use Diatomaceous Earth
Diatomaceous Earth is an organic powder that can be effective in killing flea beetles. Just sprinkle the eggplant with this powder and it will kill the flea beetles. Make sure to cover the top and bottom of the leaves as flea beetles will be on the underside of leaves many times.
Organic Pesticide Sprays
As a last resort, or for heavy infestations of flea beetles, you can use a liquid rotenone/pyrethrin spray that is quite effective for getting rid of flea beetles on eggplant. Although these sprays are organic in nature, they are still a pesticide and can affect the good insects if used in an irresponsible manner.
Growing Great Eggplant
Although flea beetles can be a huge problem for eggplant seedlings, using these preventive and control techniques can greatly reduce or eliminate their affect on eggplants in your vegetable garden.
Treating Pests That Attack Your Coleus
Coleus plants make a beautiful addition to any garden. However, they do attract certain pests that can cause damage. This article will get into the details of the different pests that attack this plant and what you can do about it.
Mealybugs are the most common pests of this plant. They show up as white fuzz on the stems, leaves, and leaf axils. This pest moves very slowly and can be easily removed through an application of alcohol or insecticide.
These are very tiny insects that fly out from under the leaves when you disturb the plant. These insects are attracted to the color yellow, so you can use this to your advantage when eliminating them from your garden. Purchase a yellow sticky trap from a garden center if you want to control these insects without pesticides.
Aphids are another problem when it comes to the coleus plant. You can treat these insects by spraying them with water and then wiping off the plant. Another option is to spray the plants with an insecticide.
If you have a spider mite infestation, you’ll notice a problem forming on the underside of leaves with little red mites. These insects tend to pop up when the humidity is low, so you can control them by watching and cleaning your leaves on a regular basis and increasing the humidity near the plants. You can also spray the leaves with an insecticide to get rid of spider mites.
These are tiny black flies that hover around the soil and love plants that contain a lot of moisture. You can control these insects by properly watering the plants and improving air circulation issues that may be helping them thrive. Improve the health of the plant by adding a ¼ inch layer of fine gravel to the top of the soil so the bugs are prevented from laying eggs.
Slugs are another common problem. They can damage plants by eating the leaves and stems. You can get rid of slugs by purchasing a slug bait or making your own slug traps. Applying earth powder around the plants can also create a barrier for the slugs that will kill them as they crawl across it. It punctures their skin, which causes dehydration. Copper barriers are another option that can deter slugs.
If spraying pests is not something you want to do, try using a systemic insecticide that is put directly in the soil. This is a good way to control pests for a few weeks or months at a time. However, this method works best with potted plants.
Another option is insecticidal soap or even an all-purpose houseplant or ornamental spray. You can purchase these products at most garden centers. Dealing with pests and diseases is more of a concern when you have plants indoors. Keep this in mind if you plan on having a lot of potted plants in your home during the winter or all year round.
What’s your question? Ask
Top Questions About Eggplant Plants
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Questions About Eggplant Plants
Q. Aubergine and Pepper Plant
I am trying to grow my own pepper and aubergine plant indoors. The seeds have germinated and I have planted them in small pot. A tiny leaf has come through, and I was wondering how long, on average, do they take to grow until big enough to plant outdoors in a big pot? Is there anything I could do to speed up the growth?
Gentle bottom heat (say like the top of your fridge or similar appliance) will speed their growth up. They are large enough to transplant when they have at least 2 sets for true leaves, though some people wait longer than that to transplant so that they are easier to handle.
Most Popular Topics
Q. Should Eggplants Be Pinched?
Eggplants are in the same family as tomatoes, but there does not seem to be any information as to whether or not you should ‘pinch’ eggplant as you do tomato. I have contacted extension services (multiple states), web sites, nurseries, etc. and everyone has a different opinion and none of them seem to have any RESEARCH to back them. Should you pinch eggplant?
I only pinch out new blossoms a few weeks before the first expected frost. This allows the plant to focus more energy on any existing fruits rather than additional ones.
Q. Help! Issues With Eggplant Little Seedlings…
Hi, I am trying to grow eggplant from seed this year for the first time. I sowed around April 1, and had sprouts less than 2 weeks later. Since then they have been under grow lights, along with my tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, and herbs. They are definitely slower-growing than most of these plants. The seedlings are still only about 4 inches high while the others are, well, much bigger.
Last week I began setting them outside as I hardened off the other veggie plants. Around this time, I noticed that the smaller “first” leaves of the eggplant were turning yellow; now the other larger leaves are also yellowing, and turning brown and crinkly and dry at the edges. Now I am also seeing dark, blackening of some of the leaves. They are so small – is it possible they have already become diseased? Or did I just overdo the initial sun exposure? I am now separating them from my other plants, unsure what to do. Scrap them and try and buy seedlings at the garden center? Treat them with something (with what?)? And if they have a disease, could it also be in my pepper and tomato seedlings?
How to Identify and Control Houseplant Pests
About Houseplant Pests
Pest attacks are much more common outdoors in the garden, but even the most experienced houseplant owner will still fall victim to an attack indoors from time to time. Don’t worry though. We’re going to share our experience and knowledge to help you easily sort out pest problems.
The trick is to be observant of your houseplants and then when you notice there’s a problem, act decisively and quickly. If you follow this rule your plants have a much better chance of making it out the battlefield with minimal or no lasting damage.
Organic vs. Chemical Control
Where possible we’d suggest giving the eco friendly method for pest eradication and control a go first. Because let’s face it, none of us need to be spraying chemicals around our home unless we really have to.
But the truth is that having plants indoors severely limits or completely removes the option to use truly organic pest control, for example outside Aphids will eventually be eaten by ladybugs. So while we detail an organic method, we also list a chemical option where appropriate.
The Common Pests
The most common pests are listed below, along with their identifying symptoms and suggested treatments. If you’re having problems with something different, let us know in the comments and we (or other readers) will try and help you out.
Just before we get on, let’s quickly point out that sometimes your plant will actually have a disease rather than a pest problem — in which case you’ll need to head over to our disease page.
Aphids / Greenfly / Blackfly
Aphids suck sap usually from the new soft plant growth, the tips, flowers etc, however they can attack any part of the plant. Normally hidden from obvious sight, i.e. under the leaves, they are typically green, but can also be black or grey and arrive in small but quickly reproducing colonies. They can be seen easily with the human eye if you look closely.
They tend to mass together in large numbers making them easy to spot and identify. Look for sticky honeydew deposits on the plant and their white or grey «husks» littering the soil and sticking to the honeydew. Long term effected plants may become infected with disease or viruses, the leaves may also turn yellow in random patches. Growth may also become distorted.
Control is really easy and in most cases doesn’t require anything more than warm soapy water although theoretically a chemical treatment, in comparison to others it’s very gentle.
- One — You can reduce the numbers (or any strays) by simply squashing them with your fingers. If there are lots or you are too squeamish to do this then move to the following steps.
- Two — Fill a spray mister with warm water and a small amount of liquid soap or washing up liquid. There should be enough that if you shake the bottle it foams up.
- Three — Spray the plant liberally with the solution, make sure you target the Aphids themselves so this may involve moving the bottle or plant into different positions to reach everything. It’s important you do this as Aphids must be covered in the solution for it to work.
- Four — Most plants don’t mind the occasional drench of soapy water, but if you don’t want to risk it, hold the plant sideways as you are spraying or cover the soil to reduce the amount of liquid that soaks in.
- Five — Wait five minutes before washing off the soapy mixture as best as you can. You can also water the plant well at this point to flush out any mixture that may have soaked into the soil (make sure you have drainage holes!).
- Six — Sometimes one treatment is enough, but its possible you may have to repeat again a few weeks later.
- Chemical: If you need something stronger look for permethrin, derris (banned in many countries due to human health concerns) or malathion containing products. Be careful if using chemical sprays on Ferns as they can be very sensitive.
Mealybugs are related to Scale insects and cause damage by sucking sap from plants. They are reasonably large as far as pests go, resembling furry white woodlice. They cluster together and on first glance you might think you are looking at cotton wool. If left untreated their damage will cause the leaves of the plant to yellow and eventually drop off.
It’s very common to be able to spot the insects before you start noticing symptoms on the plant, colonies of mealybugs tend to group on the undersides of leaves and in the leaf joints of plants. The plant will show you it is infested by wilting and generally looking dehydrated, it may be losing leaves quite rapidly. Also look for sticky honeydew residue.
- Organic: You can often knock them off the plant with a shake, poke or spraying them with water.
- Chemical: If the infestation is quite large follow the Aphid treatment technique.
- Chemical: Use products containing natural fatty acids or those formulated with a surfactant.
Red Spider Mites
Of all the house plant pests you can come across the Red Spider Mite is arguably the most feared. The damage caused isn’t necessarily the worst, but their prevalence and difficultly in removing can be quite trying and frustrating. Like their name suggests they are arachnids and therefore related to normal spiders, however although they spin webs all over your plants they don’t feed on flies, instead they eat the liquids found within plant leaves. The webbing is used to protect the colony and basically open up quick access «roads» to different parts of the plant, if allowed to get out of hand you will have a mini metropolis on your hands.
The sticky webbing is one of the most obvious signs these insects have set up home. However the most common symptom on the plant is mottled leaves with lots of little brown dots. This is caused by the spiders piercing the leaf cells with their mouthparts which then causes the cells they’ve pierced to die and in turns creates this brown speckling effect.
- Organic: These mites hate water and humid conditions. It can take a while to completely remove the pests, but if you pop your plant in the shower each week and give it a tepid shower you will help to wash off the webbing and gradually reduce the spider mite numbers. During the days between showers, mist the plant daily to help increase humidity. Check our Humidity Guide for other ideas you might like to try.
- Organic: If multiple plants are effected, or you live in an area where they are a regular problem (perhaps also with your garden or yard plants) it might be worth purchasing the predatory mite Phytosieulus persimilis. They feed on Red spider mite and will quickly outnumber them if temperatures are above 18°C (64°F).
- Chemical: Use products containing natural fatty acids or those formulated with a surfactant.
Scale is a tricky pest to identify and can be difficult to eradicate. The insects have a hard outer brown shell that locks them in place a bit like barnacles on a beach at low tide. They are neatly camouflaged because even if you are looking at them directly to the untrained eye you may still think you are looking at a natural blemish on the plant leaf.
Quite simply, sticky honeydew everywhere. If the plant is near a window it will be filthy with it, if near fabric the honeydew will eventually turn black and create almost «sooty» like mould. Look closely at the underside of the leaves or on the stems and you will see them as small round or oblong brown discs.
They are only formidable because of their protective shield, if you can get rid of that then you’ve almost won the battle already. Although it’s rare to eradicate them in one go. Their offspring are very small and mobile therefore easy to miss, in a few weeks they will set up home where their parents once lived. Be prepared to treat the plant several times before they go completely.
- Chemical: The Aphid spray method detailed above works well in softening the discs. After about five minutes you can pretty much wipe them off with a damp cloth.
- Chemical: If you need something stronger look for permethrin, derris (banned in many countries due to human health concerns) or malathion containing products. Be careful if using chemical sprays on Ferns as they can be very sensitive so use only as a last resort.
- Organic: If you have a small number you can pick or rub the scales to kill them.
- Organic — Dab individual scales with alcohol. This basically dissolves them.
Sciarid flies / Fungus gnats
There is nothing worse than having small annoying files zipping around. You bat them away to start with, but with their constant distraction you seek out where they are coming from and eventually find a small colony hovering or running around the base of your house plant(s). Fortunately although very common they tend not to harm indoor plants and are therefore more of a nuisance than anything.
Spotting small black flies around 2mm long either flying around near the plant, or running over the soil surface. The larvae are small worm like creatures, up to 1cm long, it’s hard to spot them though as they tend to exist just under the soil surface.
- Organic: These pests need organic matter to feed off and moist upper soil conditions. Make sure you pick off any fallen plant material and try keeping the soil less moist until they leave. A good tip is to use the Bottom Watering Method, as long as you don’t overwater this should help keep the soil surface drier and reduce the Fungus Gnat population.
- Organic: Nematodes are become increasingly popular ways to deal with pests and they also work well with Sciarid Flies. Nematodes are microscopic worms which seek out larval stages of various fly and other diptera insects which develop in plant soils. To treat a plant all you basically need to do is mix the nematodes with water to «activate» them and then water directly into the affected pot. They eat the larva which in turns breaks the cycle and within a few weeks no more Fungus Gnats.
- Chemical: Pyrethroids and Pyrethrin containing products.
Slugs / Snails
In 95% of cases you will only have Slug or Snail problems on plants which you choose to put outside in the warmer months of the year, they can still set up shop in your home too though. They are quite a big pest both in size and with the amount of damage they do in a short space of time, however they are also the simplest to deal with.
Identification is easy. The leaves will be drastically damaged, large holes, or entire leaves stripped clean. When morning comes they will be well hidden, but they will sometimes leave a slimy trail around the area, which is the smoking gun as to what the culprits are.
- Organic: If the plants are outdoors the easiest solution is to put them in a protected place. High up etc. Slugs and Snails have strong homing instincts returning to the same areas night after night, so another idea is to move the plant to a different place entirely.
- Organic: Indoors / Outdoors, if you go on a «dusk pick» when they start to become active again you may catch them in the act and can therefore move them far away.
- Organic / Chemical: If you have it in you, then you can also kill them. Either with a large boot or with slug pellets. As with all pests however they do play a vital role in the natural cycle of things, in particular making a delicious meal for birds and small animals like hedgehogs. So if you can’t bring yourself to kill them something else will do the job for you eventually.
Springtails are small, white or grey insects that live off the decaying organic matter found in soils. They are small (although can be seen easily with the human eye as they stand out against the dark compost) and best resemble fleas, they aren’t really pests at all as they do no damage. However their presence often attracts attention because when you water and are consequently paying more attention to the plant than usual, the water triggers the Springtails to go wild with movement and thereby alerting you to their existence.
When you water the plant and it hits the soil, you will notice small white flea like insects jumping or moving around.
As above there isn’t really a need for a «treatment», but they can be frustrating.
- Organic: The simplest way to reduce numbers and give control is, where possible, water your plants less. Springtails need water to survive and if there isn’t their numbers will eventually decline. You have to be careful though as not many plants will survive long periods without water!
About the Author
Over the last 20 years Tom has successfully owned hundreds of houseplants and is always happy to share knowledge and lend his horticulture skills to those in need. He is the main content writer for the Ourhouseplants Team.
Photo credit of the Red Spider Mite close up Gilles San Martin
Photo credit of the Mealybug Forest & Kim Starr
Photo credit of the Red Spider Mite Harald Hubich
Photo credit of the Fungus Gnat Erik Burton
Photo credit of the Springtails Marshal Hedin