Open main menu

Eggplant pests and diseases

Published: 09.04.2023
Pest/Disease Type Symptoms on Eggplant Control/Prevention
Aphids Pest Sticky residue on leaves, discoloration, wilting Insecticidal soap, neem oil, ladybugs
Colorado Potato Beetle Pest Holes in leaves, yellowing, defoliation Insecticides, handpicking
Flea Beetles Pest Small holes in leaves, stunted growth Row covers, insecticides
Spider Mites Pest Stippling on leaves, yellowing Neem oil, insecticidal soap
Cutworms Pest Young plants cut off at the base Collars around plant stems, handpicking
Whiteflies Pest Sticky residue on leaves, discoloration, wilting Insecticidal soap, neem oil
Verticillium Wilt Disease Yellowing, wilting, stunted growth Fungicide, crop rotation
Phytophthora Blight Disease Damping off, wilting, rotting fruit Fungicides, good drainage
Bacterial Wilt Disease Wilting, yellowing, bacterial ooze from stems Removal of infected plants, crop rotation
Early Blight Disease Brown spots on leaves, defoliation Fungicides, good sanitation
Late Blight Disease Dark lesions on leaves and stems, rotting fruit Fungicides, crop rotation


Aphids are a common pest that can wreak havoc on your eggplant plants. These tiny, soft-bodied insects come in many colors and can quickly reproduce, causing damage to leaves, stems, and fruit.

Symptoms: Aphids feed by piercing the plant and sucking out sap, causing leaves to curl and distort. This can lead to stunted growth and reduced yield. Additionally, aphids excrete a sticky substance called honeydew which attracts other pests like ants and can cause sooty mold to grow on leaves.

Prevention and Control: One of the best ways to prevent aphids is to encourage natural predators like ladybugs, lacewings, and parasitic wasps to your garden. You can also use insecticidal soaps or neem oil to control aphids. Regularly spraying plants with a strong jet of water can also help dislodge aphids from the leaves.

To prevent aphids from infesting your plants in the first place, make sure you keep your garden clean and free of debris. You should also regularly inspect your plants for any signs of infestation and remove any affected leaves or plants promptly.

By taking these preventative measures, you can protect your eggplant plants from aphid damage and enjoy a bountiful harvest.

Colorado Potato Beetle

Colorado Potato Beetle (Leptinotarsa decemlineata) is a common pest that attacks eggplants, potatoes, and other plants in the nightshade family. The beetle is native to North America and has become a major agricultural pest in many parts of the world due to its voracious appetite and ability to reproduce quickly.


The adult beetles are about 1/4 inch long and have distinctive yellow and black stripes on their wings. They lay clusters of orange-yellow eggs on the undersides of leaves, which hatch into larvae that are red with black spots. The larvae feed on the leaves, causing them to turn yellow and eventually die. If left untreated, the beetles can quickly defoliate a plant, causing significant damage.

Control or Prevention

The best way to prevent a Colorado Potato Beetle infestation is to practice good garden hygiene. This includes removing any plant debris and weeds from the garden, rotating crops every year, and planting resistant varieties of eggplants and potatoes.

If you do find Colorado Potato Beetles in your garden, there are several control methods you can use. Handpicking the beetles and larvae off the plants is effective for small infestations. You can also use insecticidal soap or neem oil to kill the beetles. Be sure to follow the instructions on the label carefully and apply the product in the early morning or late evening when the beetles are most active.

Flea Beetles

Flea beetles are tiny, shiny, black or brown pests that can cause damage to eggplant plants. These pests are known for their ability to jump like fleas when disturbed, hence the name "flea" beetles. Flea beetles are usually active early in the season and can cause significant damage to young plants.

Symptoms: Flea beetles feed on the leaves of eggplant plants, causing small holes or pits that give the leaves a "shot-hole" appearance. The damage caused by flea beetles can reduce the plant's ability to photosynthesize, leading to stunted growth and reduced yield.

Control or Prevention: One of the most effective ways to prevent flea beetle damage is to use floating row covers during the early stages of plant growth. This physical barrier will prevent the beetles from reaching the plants. Additionally, planting eggplants in a location that has been free of flea beetles in previous years can help prevent infestation.

If flea beetles are already present, handpicking and squishing them is a viable control option for small infestations. For larger infestations, neem oil or insecticidal soap can be used to control these pests. It is important to follow the instructions on the label and apply these products in the early morning or late evening when the bees are less active.

By taking preventative measures and controlling flea beetle infestations early, you can help ensure a healthy and productive eggplant harvest.

Spider Mites

Spider mites are tiny pests that can cause significant damage to your eggplant plants. They are a type of arachnid and can be found on the underside of leaves, where they feed by piercing the plant cells and sucking out the sap.


The first signs of spider mites are tiny yellow or white spots on the leaves. As the infestation progresses, the leaves will start to turn yellow and eventually die. You may also notice webbing on the plant, which is a sign that the spider mites have established a colony.

Control or Prevention

To prevent spider mites from infesting your eggplant plants, make sure to keep the leaves clean and free of dust. You can also spray the plants with a strong jet of water to dislodge any mites that may be present.

If you do have an infestation, there are several natural remedies that you can try. One option is to spray the plants with a mixture of dish soap and water. Another option is to use neem oil, which is derived from the neem tree and acts as a natural insecticide.

Overall, it is important to catch spider mite infestations early and take action quickly to prevent further damage to your eggplant plants.


Cutworms are a common pest that can damage various plants in your garden, including eggplants. These pests are the larvae of various species of nocturnal moths and can be identified by their gray or brown color and smooth skin. They are most active during the night and will hide in soil or plant debris during the day.

Symptoms of cutworms infestation include wilting or sudden death of young plants, stems cut off at the base, and irregular holes on the leaves. To prevent cutworms from attacking your eggplants, you should avoid planting them near grassy areas, as cutworms are attracted to grasses. You can also use physical barriers such as collars made of paper or cardboard around the base of your plants to prevent the cutworms from reaching them.

If you already have a cutworm infestation in your garden, there are several control methods you can use. You can handpick the cutworms during the night when they are most active and dispose of them. Another option is to use Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) insecticide, which is a natural and effective way to control cutworms. You should also cultivate your soil regularly to expose any cutworm larvae to natural predators like birds.

By taking preventive measures and using effective control methods, you can keep your eggplants safe from cutworms and other common pests.


Whiteflies are a common pest that affect eggplants and other garden plants. These tiny, white insects are typically found on the undersides of leaves and can cause serious damage if left untreated.

Symptoms of a whitefly infestation include yellowing leaves, stunted growth, and a sticky residue on the leaves. You may also see the whiteflies themselves flying around the plant.

To control or prevent a whitefly infestation, there are several steps you can take. First, remove any heavily infested plants or leaves and dispose of them in the trash (not compost). You can also use insecticidal soap or neem oil to kill the whiteflies.

Another effective method is to introduce natural predators, such as ladybugs or lacewings, into your garden. These insects will feed on the whiteflies and help keep their population in check.

Prevention is also key when it comes to whiteflies. Regularly inspect your plants for signs of pests and diseases, and keep your garden clean and free of debris. Avoid over-fertilizing your plants, as this can attract pests like whiteflies.

By taking these steps, you can keep your eggplants and other garden plants healthy and free from whitefly damage.

Verticillium Wilt

Verticillium Wilt is a soil-borne fungal disease that affects a variety of plants, including eggplants. The fungus attacks the plant's vascular system, causing it to wilt and eventually die.


Symptoms of Verticillium Wilt include yellowing and wilting of leaves, stunted growth, and discoloration of the stem. The fungus also causes a brown discoloration in the cross-section of the stem.

Control or Prevention

Prevention is key when it comes to Verticillium Wilt. To reduce the risk of infection, it is essential to rotate crops and avoid planting susceptible plants in the same area for more than one year. It is also important to ensure proper drainage and avoid overwatering.

If the disease has already infected your eggplants, there are a few steps you can take to control its spread. Remove infected plants and burn them to prevent the fungus from spreading. Avoid planting new crops in the same area for at least two years. Additionally, you can use fungicides to help control the spread of the disease.

In conclusion, Verticillium Wilt is a serious disease that can cause significant damage to eggplant crops. Prevention is key, so it is essential to rotate crops and avoid overwatering. If you do notice symptoms of Verticillium Wilt, take action immediately to prevent further spread.

Phytophthora Blight

Phytophthora Blight is a fungal disease that commonly affects eggplants. This disease can quickly spread and can cause significant damage to your plants if not treated properly.

Symptoms: The symptoms of Phytophthora Blight include wilting of leaves, stem rot, and a dark-colored lesion on the stem, which later becomes sunken and may produce spores. The leaves may also turn yellow or brown, and the fruit may rot.

Prevention and Control: To prevent this disease from spreading, it is essential to avoid overwatering your eggplants, as Phytophthora Blight thrives in wet conditions. Good drainage and proper soil ventilation are also important. You can also consider using fungicides that are specifically designed to control Phytophthora Blight.

If you suspect that your eggplants have been affected by Phytophthora Blight, it is important to remove and destroy the infected plants immediately. Do not compost them as the spores can remain in the soil and infect other plants. Also, avoid planting eggplants in the same area for at least two years.

In conclusion, preventing Phytophthora Blight from infecting your eggplants is crucial for maintaining healthy plants. By practicing good gardening habits and being proactive with treatment, you can keep your garden free from this disease.

Bacterial Wilt

Bacterial wilt is a common disease that affects eggplants and other plants in the Solanaceae family. The bacteria that cause the disease can survive in the soil for years and can infect plants through wounds in the roots or stems.


The symptoms of bacterial wilt include wilting and yellowing of leaves, starting with the lower leaves and progressing up the plant. The wilting may occur suddenly, or it may progress gradually. The stems of infected plants may have brown streaks or spots, and when cut open, they may show a brown discoloration of the vascular tissue. The bacteria can also cause fruit to rot on the plant.

Control and Prevention

Preventing bacterial wilt is the best strategy since there are no effective treatments for infected plants. Here are some measures you can take to prevent bacterial wilt:

  • Use disease-free seedlings and seeds.
  • Rotate your crops every year to avoid planting eggplants in the same spot.
  • Remove and destroy any infected plants, including their roots.
  • Use a soil drench with copper-based fungicide or bactericide to protect healthy plants.
  • Practice good sanitation by keeping tools and equipment clean.

By taking these measures, you can reduce the risk of bacterial wilt affecting your eggplants and other plants in your garden.

Early Blight

Early blight is a fungal disease that commonly affects eggplants. This disease is caused by the fungus Alternaria solani and can cause significant damage to eggplant crops if left uncontrolled.


The symptoms of early blight include circular brown lesions on the leaves, which may have concentric rings. The leaves may turn yellow and drop prematurely. The fruits may also develop sunken, brown lesions.

Control and Prevention

To control and prevent early blight, follow these steps:

  • Sanitation: Remove all infected plant debris from the garden to prevent the spread of the disease.
  • Fungicides: Apply fungicides containing chlorothalonil or copper to prevent the disease from spreading.
  • Watering: Water plants at the base to avoid getting water on the leaves.
  • Crop rotation: Plant eggplants in a different location each year to reduce the risk of infection.
  • Mulching: Mulch around the base of plants to prevent soil-borne spores from splashing onto the leaves.

By following these steps, you can effectively control and prevent early blight in your eggplant crop. Remember to always monitor your plants for any signs of disease and take action immediately to prevent further damage.

Late Blight

Late blight is a devastating disease that can affect eggplants and other plants in the nightshade family, such as tomatoes and potatoes. It is caused by a fungal pathogen called Phytophthora infestans and can lead to rapid plant death and loss of yield. Late blight is notorious for causing the Irish potato famine in the 19th century.


Symptoms of late blight include water-soaked lesions on the leaves that can turn brown or black, as well as lesions on the stems and fruit. The undersides of the leaves may also have a fuzzy white or gray growth of the fungus. The disease can spread quickly, especially in cool and wet conditions, and can cause the entire plant to wilt and die within days.

Control or Prevention

To prevent late blight, it is important to practice good garden hygiene, including removing diseased plants and debris from the garden. Fungicides can also be used preventatively or at the first sign of symptoms. It is important to choose a fungicide labeled for use on eggplants and follow all instructions carefully.

In addition, choosing resistant varieties of eggplants can help prevent late blight. Some popular resistant varieties include Black Beauty, Dusky, and Ichiban. Crop rotation is also recommended to prevent the buildup of fungal spores in the soil.

Overall, early detection and prevention are key to managing late blight in eggplants and other nightshade crops.

Author: Michael Chen
Bio: I'm gardening specialist with a mission to empower people to grow their own fruits and vegetables. With my background in Plant Science from the University of California and experience working with farmers and community gardens, I'm dedicated to promoting sustainable agriculture practices and helping individuals achieve bountiful harvests. Let's get growing!