The eggplant is a member of the nightshade family, which is characterized by bearing dark-colored fruits that are used in a variety of cuisines all over the world. Growing eggplants is simple, although pests often plague them. Their succulent pulp is a breeding ground for many creepy crawlies. However, some bugs (for example, white bugs) are more attracted to eggplants than others. In this article, let’s talk about what are these little white bugs on my eggplant.
Photo Credit Several whitefly species can infest eggplants, but the silver leaf whitefly is the most common.
The little white bugs on your eggplants could be silver leaf whiteflies or aphids. There could be multiple species of these irritating bugs on your eggplants. They do not cause any harm to the eggplants, provided there are not many of them. However, if there are too many of these pests, it will kill the eggplant.
Aphids and whiteflies suck sap from the leaves of eggplants and secrete honeydew, a sticky substance that attracts ants and provides a medium for fungal growth.
This, in turn, can cause even more damage to your eggplants. So, if you have seen any white bugs on your eggplants, read on.
We will tell you everything you need to know to get rid of them!
How To Tell Whiteflies From Aphids
Photo Credit Whiteflies, like aphids and mealybugs, are winged, soft-bodied insects.
Whiteflies are winged insects with soft bodies that are closely related to mealybugs and aphids. They feed on a wide variety of plant and animal life. They can fly, but they are not like common house flies in any way.
Whiteflies are about 1/12 of an inch in size and have a triangular appearance. They are almost always seen in clusters and hide within the foliage when spotted. They are easiest to find during the day because it is when they are most active, so keep an eye out.
There are many different species of whiteflies, but only a tiny percentage of them behave as parasites in the wild. A few examples are the banded-winged whitefly, the Silverleaf whitefly, and the greenhouse whitefly.
On the other hand, aphids are characterized by their pear shape, soft bodies, and lengths ranging from 2 to 4 millimeters. Aphids that have just hatched are yellowish-white, but as they mature, their color becomes darker.
Another characteristic that sets aphids apart from whiteflies is the presence of two cornicles, or tailpipes, at the very end of their abdomens. Whiteflies only have one.
Aphids go through a process of molting in which they shed their skins as they mature. These white skins can be seen on the leaves of eggplants.
How Do White Flies Reproduce?
Photo Credit Whiteflies have a short life cycle—about 3 weeks—that allows populations to boom when conditions are right.
The life cycle of the whitefly can be broken down into five distinct stages. Whiteflies lay their eggs beneath the leaves of eggplants. These eggs are white in hue, but before they hatch, they will gradually develop a grayish color. The eggs don’t hatch until anywhere from five to seven days after being laid.
The crawlers, which are transparent and very small in size, hatch out of the eggs as they develop. The sedentary scale stage will soon follow after completing the crawler stage. The scaling stage is where all the characteristics necessary for sucking the sap out of the plant tissue are developed.
As it consumes the plant tissue, its protective covering thickens, providing it with an additional layer of defense. Adults mature within these scales, which can take up to four days to finish. Their life cycle lasts for twenty to thirty days, and the temperature plays a significant role in every stage of the process.
How Do Aphids Reproduce?
Photo Credit The average lifespan of an aphid is approximately one month.
If the little white bugs on your eggplants are aphids, their females, which are called stem mothers, give birth to young baby aphids. As the plant becomes overcrowded with these young aphids, some transform and produce tiny wings, which help them fly to new plants.
Both males and females are produced in the late summer, and when they mate, and then the females lay eggs that overwinter. If eggs are laid in the warmer climate, they hatch within a few days instead of waiting for the winter to pass.
The average lifespan of aphids is around 30 days.
How Do White Bugs Damage Eggplants?
Photo Credit Whiteflies harm eggplants by sucking large amounts of sap and coating the plants with sticky honeydew.
Whiteflies and aphids can inflict severe damage on the eggplants you grow in your yard. The damage they cause can be classified as either direct or indirect. Aphids and whiteflies possess specialized mouthparts that allow them to siphon sap fluids from the fruit and foliage they feed.
This direct harm causes the fruit and foliage to turn yellow and fall off before they usually would prematurely. However, they can spread viruses and fungus spores from one plant to another, resulting in indirect damage to the eggplants even though the individual virus or fungus is responsible for the actual damage.
In addition, while sucking the nutrients out of your eggplants, aphids, and whiteflies secrete a sticky fluid called honeydew. Honeydew encourages the growth of a mold known as sooty mold on the leaves of the plant, which draws in ants and other insects.
It manifests as large black spots on the leaves that obscure the sun’s rays and, consequently, diminish the amount of photosynthesis. If you want to cultivate disease-free eggplants, you must get rid of any whiteflies and aphids that may be present.
How To Prevent White Bugs On Eggplants?
Photo Credit White bugs like aphids and whiteflies are drawn to nitrogen, and over-fertilizing the soil can attract them.
You know what they say: care is always better than cure. So, if you can save your eggplants from a white bug infestation, then why spend money and resources on treatment. And you can prevent these white pests on eggplants in numerous ways. Here are some tips:
Monitor The Eggplants
When buying eggplants from a nursery, inspect them thoroughly for pests before moving them to your garden. You can find aphids by examining underneath the leaves, or you can see their skin on the leaves, which they shed periodically.
Another method for finding bugs is to shake the eggplant gently. This will cause the insects to become dislodged and either fly away or fall to the ground.
You might also try rubbing the stem and leaves of the eggplant with a wet paper towel to see if any of the insects would cling to it. If there is evidence of an infestation, you should avoid bringing the plant to your home because it has the potential to spread the disease to other plants in your garden.
Use Of Reflective Mulches
Whiteflies are light-sensitive and can be deterred from an area using reflecting mulches. The term “reflective mulch” refers to a reflective material that is typically made of aluminum or silver polyethylene and is spread among the leaves of a plant to reflect light.
For instance, you can use old CDs to reflect light around your eggplants. In addition, this technique may also be effective for controlling other types of pests.
Do Not Over Fertilize Your Plants
White bugs like aphids and whiteflies are attracted to nitrogen, and over-fertilizing the soil can increase the amount of nitrogen in both the ground and the plants.
In addition to this, you should always make an effort to utilize fertilizers that slowly release nutrients while maintaining an appropriate level of nitrogen.
Make Sure Your Plants Receive Adequate Water
The presence of low levels of water in the soil can cause stress in the plants, making them more prone to being infested by pests such as aphids and whiteflies. These tiny white bugs thrive in warm, dry environments, making them ideal breeding grounds for plants.
Infestations of aphids and whiteflies are likely to occur if you reside in a warm climate and fail to provide consistent watering for your eggplants.
How To Control White Bugs On Eggplants?
Photo Credit Neem oil is a plant product that can kill the tiny white pests eating your eggplants.
When it comes to controlling pests, we always have two options to choose from. They are Biological methods and Chemical methods. Despite having many undesirable side effects, chemical techniques are always the most effective.
So, it is generally recommended to begin with biological methods, particularly when dealing with infestations on a smaller scale. However, if the infestation is severe, you should start using chemical treatments as soon as possible.
Bugs can be captured using sticky traps, which are paper traps that have been glued together. When you put these bug traps on your plants, the insects become entangled in the stickers and cannot free themselves.
These traps are also a fantastic technique to check the number of whiteflies and aphids on your eggplants without directly contacting them. After they have been used to capture a sufficient number of insects, the cards should be replaced.
Whiteflies and aphids are both prey to a variety of natural predators, many of which are capable of exerting significant control over their respective populations. Biological control is one of many ways in which nature maintains a healthy balance between the populations of various species. Lacewings, big-eyed bugs, and minute pirate bugs are three of the most prevalent types of predators that feed on whiteflies, aphids, and other similar insects.
You can buy these beneficial predatory insects from your local gardening store, or you might even be able to get them online and then use them in your garden.
Neem oil is a natural plant extract that can get rid of the small white bugs on your eggplants. In order to use neem oil, soapy water is first combined with it so that it can then be diluted with water (oil and water do not mix, so we need a surfactant such as soap).
After the mixture has been prepared, use a spray bottle and apply this mixture to the leaves of your eggplant plants, paying particular attention to the regions where the white bugs are hiding, such as underneath the leaves.
These insects are killed by neem oil because it clogs the pores on their bodies that allow them to breathe and disrupts their digestive enzymes.
Chemical Control Of White Bugs On Eggplants
If the white bug infestation on your eggplants is on a large scale, you can use the following pesticides to get rid of them:
This substance does not leave any residual effect and requires consistent applications to achieve complete coverage. These substances function by suffocating any pests that may be present in your plants.
Insecticidal soaps will, however, destroy any beneficial insects that may be present in your plants as soon as they come into touch with them.
Clothianidin is a neonicotinoid pesticide that is used extensively nowadays. It is a potent agonist of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor found in insects. It can also be used to eliminate aphids, whiteflies, and any other white bugs that may be present in your plants. However, keep in mind that it is poisonous to bees.
So, do not spray directly onto blossoming crops or weeds where bees are foraging, and do not allow the spray to drift over these areas.
Imidacloprid is a type of systemic insecticide belonging to a chemical group known as neonicotinoids. These chemicals work on the insect’s central nervous system to kill the insects. It is also highly harmful to bees; do not spray directly into blossoming crops or weeds where bees are foraging, and do not allow the spray to drift onto these areas.
Additionally, to lessen the likelihood of developing resistance, you should avoid applying neonicotinoids to the same crop in the soil and the foliar application.
Most likely, the little white bugs on your eggplant are aphids or silver leaf whiteflies. Debris left over in the garden provides a breeding ground for insects and may also hold diseases. So, maintaining a clean and debris-free space in your garden not only discourages these pests but also makes it possible for you to avoid contracting diseases.
However, if, despite your best efforts, an infestation takes place, whiteflies and aphids can be managed through natural means, insecticides, and beneficial insects.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the white stuff on my eggplant leaves?
Powdery mildew may be present on your eggplant plant if the leaves develop white patches that resemble powder and have a granular consistency. Powdery mildew typically begins as white spots that are powdery and round in appearance. These spots can appear on stems, leaves, and even fruit in some cases. It’s possible, though, that the aphids and whiteflies lurking on your plant are responsible for the whitish growth you’ve noticed.
What is the major pest of eggplant?
Flea beetles, the majority of which belong to the genus Epitrix, love to make their home in eggplant. The plants are most vulnerable to their damage while they are young and have a limited number of leaves. Silverleaf whitefly is also a severe problem for eggplants and various other crops in Florida.
Can vinegar get rid of whiteflies?
White vinegar can be particularly efficient against whiteflies. In addition, the Royal Horticultural Society suggests hanging sticky traps to control whiteflies. White vinegar, insecticidal soap, baking soda, and dish soap can be combined with water to make an effective insecticide that can be sprayed on affected plants.
How do I get rid of eggplant bugs?
To get rid of pests from eggplants, start by removing all adult insects and larvae by hand. If plant damage is apparent, cleaning the underside of the eggplant leaves daily can prevent additional eggs. As an added measure, giving your eggplant a good drenching with the garden hose can help reduce the number of little flea beetles. In severe infestations, you can also use insecticides.
How do I get rid of aphids on my eggplant?
Aphids can be eliminated from eggplants by wiping or spraying the plant’s leaves with a solution that consists of water and a few drops of dish detergent. It is recommended that soapy water be administered every two to three days for at least two weeks for the best possible outcomes.
How do you get rid of whiteflies on eggplant?
Always begin by using your watering hose or a spray bottle to eliminate any whiteflies you see. Eggs, larvae, and adult insects can all be eradicated from eggplants, fruit trees, and flowers by spraying them with organic neem oil. In addition, adult whiteflies can be killed with a straightforward solution that consists of liquid dish detergent and water.
Sources For Further Reading
Eggplant / Agriculture: Pest Management Guidelines / UC Statewide IPM Program (UC IPM). (2022). Retrieved 19 September 2022, from https://www2.ipm.ucanr.edu/agriculture/eggplant/
Eggplant Insect Pests & Diseases. (2022). Retrieved 19 September 2022, from https://hgic.clemson.edu/factsheet/eggplant-insect-pests-diseases/
Eggplant Pest Management – UF/IFAS Extension: Solutions for Your Life. (2022). Retrieved 19 September 2022, from https://sfyl.ifas.ufl.edu/archive/hot_topics/agriculture/eggplant_pest_management.shtml
Eggplant | Diseases and Pests, Description, Uses, Propagation. (2022). Retrieved 19 September 2022, from https://plantvillage.psu.edu/topics/eggplant/infos
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