Spider mites (Tetranychus spp.)
Spider mites may become serious pests of eggplant during the dry season. Attacked leaves show a stippled appearance (white specks), and their surface covered with a fine web. Continuous infestation causes the leaves to dry-up. The plants are stunted and yields reduced.
- Conserve natural enemies. Predatory mites and anthocorid bugs are important in natural control of mites.
- Avoid use of broad-spectrum pesticides. They may kill natural enemies and may lead to mite outbreaks.
- Provide good growing conditions for plants. Healthy plants are more likely to withstand mite attack. Adequate irrigation is particularly important. Apply mulch and incorporate organic matter into the soil to improve the water holding capacity and reduce evaporation.