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Peas pests and diseases

Published: 09.04.2023
Pest/Disease Type Symptoms on Peas Control/Prevention
Aphids Insect Leaves curling, yellowing, stunted growth Insecticidal soap, neem oil, ladybugs
Cutworms Insect Seedlings cut at soil level Handpick, apply diatomaceous earth
Thrips Insect Stunted growth, silvery streaks on leaves Insecticidal soap, neem oil
Leaf Miners Insect White, winding tunnels on leaves Remove affected leaves, apply neem oil
Whiteflies Insect Yellowing leaves, sticky residue on leaves Insecticidal soap, neem oil, sticky traps
Slugs/Snails Insect Holes in leaves, slime trails Handpick, apply diatomaceous earth
Powdery Mildew Fungal White powdery coating on leaves Remove affected leaves, increase air circulation
Downy Mildew Fungal Yellowing leaves, moldy growth on undersides of leaves Remove affected leaves, apply fungicide
Fusarium Wilt Fungal Yellowing, wilting, dead stems Remove affected plants, rotate crops
Root Rot Fungal Wilting, yellowing, stunted growth Improve drainage, avoid overwatering
Pea Moth Insect Holes in pods, larvae inside pods Remove affected pods, dispose of infested pods away from garden


Aphids are a common pest that can attack various plants, including peas. These small insects feed on plant sap, causing leaves to yellow and wilt. They also excrete a sticky substance known as honeydew, which attracts ants and can lead to the growth of black mold.

Symptoms of aphid infestation include distorted leaves, stunted growth, and the presence of ants on the plants. If left untreated, aphids can quickly reproduce and cause severe damage to the plants.

To control aphids, start by removing any heavily infested parts of the plant. You can also try spraying the plants with a strong stream of water or using insecticidal soap. Natural predators such as ladybugs and lacewings can also help control aphids.

Prevention is key when it comes to aphids. Avoid over-fertilizing your plants and keep them well-watered but not waterlogged. Planting companion plants such as marigolds or garlic can also help repel aphids.

Overall, early detection and prevention are crucial in controlling aphid infestations on your peas and other plants in your garden.


Cutworms are common pests that can damage your pea plants. These caterpillars are about an inch long, brown or gray in color, and can be found curled up in the soil during the day. They feed on the base of your plants and can cut them off at ground level, causing irreparable damage.

Symptoms of cutworm damage include seedlings that suddenly wilt and die, with no visible signs of disease or insect infestation. If you suspect cutworms are the problem, look for them at night when they are active. You can also dig around the base of your plants during the day to find them.

To control cutworms, you can use physical barriers like collars made from paper or cardboard around the base of your plants to prevent them from crawling up. You can also use insecticides containing Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) which is a natural bacteria that is harmful to cutworms but safe for humans and other animals. Alternatively, handpicking the caterpillars and dropping them into a bucket of soapy water is an effective way to get rid of them.

Prevention is key to avoiding cutworm damage. Keep your garden clean and free of debris, as this can provide a habitat for cutworms. Also, rotate your crops each year to reduce the risk of infestation.

Thrips: A Common Pest for Peas

Thrips are tiny, slender insects that can cause significant damage to pea plants. They are known for their ability to suck the sap from leaves and flowers, which can lead to stunted growth, distorted leaves, and reduced yields.


If your pea plants are infested with thrips, you may notice:

  • Silvery or bronze-colored streaks on the leaves
  • Distorted or curled leaves
  • Black specks on the leaves (excrement)
  • Damaged flowers and buds

Control and Prevention

To control thrips infestations, try the following methods:

  • Use sticky traps to capture adult thrips
  • Spray insecticidal soap or neem oil on affected plants
  • Use reflective mulch around your plants to disorient thrips

To prevent thrips from infesting your pea plants in the first place, consider:

  • Planting early in the season to avoid peak thrips populations
  • Keeping your garden free of weeds, as they can attract thrips
  • Removing any infected plant debris at the end of the season

By being vigilant and taking preventative measures, you can keep your pea plants healthy and thriving in the face of potential thrips infestations.

Leaf Miners

Leaf miners are common pests that attack various plants, including peas. These pests are the larvae of flies, moths, or beetles that tunnel through the leaves, leaving behind distinctive trails or mines.

Symptoms The most apparent symptom of leaf miner infestation is the winding trails they create on leaves. The tunnels may appear white, brown, or black, and as the larvae feed on the plant tissue, they cause the leaves to become distorted and yellow. If left untreated, leaf miners can cause significant damage to the plants and reduce yields.

Control or Prevention Preventing leaf miner infestations starts with good garden hygiene. Clear away plant debris regularly to minimize hiding places for the pests. Covering plants with insect netting is an effective way to keep adult flies from laying eggs on the leaves.

If you notice signs of leaf miner activity in your garden, there are several control methods you can use. You can handpick affected leaves and dispose of them, spray affected plants with insecticidal soap or neem oil, or use beneficial insects such as parasitic wasps or ladybugs to control the pests.

In conclusion, preventing and controlling leaf miner infestations in your pea plants is crucial for a healthy and productive garden. Regular monitoring and implementing prevention methods are essential in maintaining a pest-free garden.


Whiteflies are common pests that can cause significant damage to pea plants. These tiny, white insects suck sap from the leaves and stems of the plant, causing stunted growth, yellowing, and even death of the plant. They can also transmit viruses that can further weaken the plant.


The most obvious symptom of whiteflies is the presence of the insects themselves. They are small, white, and often found on the underside of leaves. As they feed on the plant, they excrete a sticky substance known as honeydew, which can attract other pests and lead to fungal growth on the plant.

Control or Prevention

Preventing whiteflies is easier than controlling them once they have infested your pea plants. One effective prevention method is to use yellow sticky traps to attract and trap adult whiteflies. You can also introduce natural predators like ladybugs or lacewings to your garden.

If you already have an infestation, you can try spraying the plants with a strong jet of water to knock off the insects. Neem oil or insecticidal soap can also be effective in controlling whiteflies. If the infestation is severe, you may need to resort to using chemical insecticides.

Regular monitoring of your plants and prompt action at the first sign of an infestation can help prevent significant damage to your pea plants from whiteflies.


Slugs and snails are common pests that can cause a lot of damage to peas and other garden plants. They are especially problematic in damp and humid weather conditions. Here's what you need to know about slugs and snails as a gardener.


Slugs and snails will leave behind slimy trails on the leaves and stems of your pea plants. They will also eat large holes in the leaves, which can stunt the growth of the plant. In severe cases, slugs and snails can even kill the plant.

Control or Prevention

There are several ways to control or prevent slugs and snails in your garden:

  1. Handpicking: You can manually remove the slugs and snails from your garden by handpicking them. This can be time-consuming but effective.

  2. Copper barriers: Copper barriers placed around your garden can help deter slugs and snails, as they get shocked when they come into contact with copper.

  3. Beer traps: Beer traps are containers filled with beer that attract slugs and snails, causing them to drown in the liquid.

  4. Diatomaceous earth: Sprinkling diatomaceous earth around your pea plants can help dehydrate and kill slugs and snails.

  5. Iron phosphate baits: Iron phosphate baits are a natural alternative to chemical pesticides that can be used to control slugs and snails.

By implementing these prevention methods, you can protect your pea plants from slugs and snails and ensure a healthy harvest.

Powdery Mildew

Powdery mildew is a common fungal disease that affects many plants, including peas. It is characterized by a powdery, white or grayish coating on the leaves, stems, and pods of the plant.

Symptoms: The first signs of powdery mildew are small white spots on the leaves that grow into larger patches. As the disease progresses, the patches become thicker and more powdery, and may spread to other parts of the plant. Severe infections can cause yellowing, curling, and drying of the leaves, and can ultimately lead to stunted growth and reduced yield.

Control or Prevention: To prevent powdery mildew, ensure that your pea plants are properly spaced and receive adequate sunlight and air circulation. Avoid overhead watering, as this can create humid conditions that encourage fungal growth. Remove any infected plant material and dispose of it in the trash (not the compost pile). You can also use fungicidal sprays to control the disease, but be sure to follow the instructions carefully and wear protective gear.

In summary, powdery mildew is a common fungal disease that affects peas and other plants. It is characterized by a powdery, white or grayish coating on the leaves, stems, and pods. To prevent or control the disease, ensure proper plant spacing and sunlight, avoid overhead watering, remove infected plant material, and consider using fungicidal sprays if necessary.

Downy Mildew

Downy mildew is a fungal disease that affects pea plants. It thrives in cool, moist conditions and can spread quickly in crowded, poorly ventilated gardens. The disease can lead to stunted growth and reduced yields.


The first sign of downy mildew is a yellowing of the leaves, which eventually turn brown and die. The undersides of the leaves will have a fuzzy or downy appearance. In severe cases, the entire plant may be affected, leading to wilting and death.

Control or Prevention

The best way to prevent downy mildew is to ensure good air circulation around the plants. Avoid overhead watering, as this can create ideal conditions for the disease to spread. Instead, water at the base of the plants using a soaker hose or drip irrigation. Plant peas in well-draining soil and space them properly to allow for adequate air flow. Fungicides can be effective in controlling downy mildew, but should be used as a last resort.

In summary, downy mildew is a common fungal disease that affects pea plants. Early detection and prevention are key to controlling its spread. By providing good air circulation and avoiding overhead watering, you can protect your pea plants from this damaging disease.

Fusarium Wilt

Fusarium wilt is a common disease that affects pea plants. It is caused by a soil-borne fungus called Fusarium oxysporum. This fungus infects the roots of the plant and spreads through the vascular system, causing wilt and eventual death of the plant.

The symptoms of Fusarium wilt include yellowing and browning of leaves, wilting of the plant, and stunted growth. The leaves may also have brown streaks or spots. The disease can spread rapidly, particularly in warm and humid conditions.

To prevent Fusarium wilt, it is important to use clean, disease-free soil and seeds. Crop rotation is also recommended, as well as avoiding planting peas in the same spot for more than two years in a row. Proper irrigation and drainage can help reduce the risk of infection.

If your plants do become infected with Fusarium wilt, it is best to remove and destroy them immediately to prevent further spread of the disease. Fungicides may also be effective in controlling the disease, but should be used with caution and according to instructions.

Root Rot

Root rot is a common disease that affects many plants including peas. This disease is caused by fungi that live in the soil and thrive in wet conditions. It can lead to the death of the plant if not detected and treated early.


The symptoms of root rot include yellowing of the leaves, wilting, and stunted growth. The plant may also show signs of root damage such as brown, mushy roots. If left untreated, the plant will eventually die.

Control or Prevention

To prevent root rot, it is important to ensure proper drainage and avoid overwatering. Choose well-draining soil and containers with drainage holes to allow excess water to drain away. Avoid planting in areas with poor drainage or where water tends to accumulate.

If you suspect your plants have root rot, it is important to act quickly. Remove the affected plants and dispose of them properly. Treat the remaining plants with a fungicide to prevent the spread of the disease.

In conclusion, root rot is a serious disease that can cause significant damage to your pea plants. By taking preventative measures and acting quickly if symptoms appear, you can minimize the risk of this disease affecting your garden.

Pea Moth

Pea moth (Cydia nigricana) is a common pest that affects pea plants. The larvae of pea moth feed on the developing peas inside the pods, making them inedible. The adult pea moths are grayish-brown and about 1 cm in length. They lay their eggs on the flowers or developing pods of the pea plant.

Symptoms: Infested pea pods will have small holes and contain discolored and shriveled peas. You may also see small yellowish-brown moths flying around your pea plants.

Control and Prevention: To prevent pea moth infestations, cover your pea plants with insect netting as soon as you see flower buds. This will prevent the adult moths from laying their eggs on the developing pods. If you already have an infestation, remove and destroy any infested pods to prevent further damage. You can also use pheromone traps to catch male moths before they mate with females.

In conclusion, preventing and controlling pea moth infestations is crucial for a successful pea harvest. By taking preventive measures and catching the infestation early, you can ensure that your pea plants produce healthy and edible pods.

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!