Eggplant (Solanum melongena esculentum) is a popular garden vegetable, prized for its large, elongated purple fruit. Eggplant belongs to the same botanical family as solanaceous tomatoes and potatoes, and is troubled by the same pests that attack these vegetables. For this reason, aubergines not on the same soil where tomatoes or potatoes have grown in the last two years.
A Voracious Pest
The Colorado potato beetle (Leptinotarsa decemlineata) is a voracious and wide-spread eggplant pest that is currently in the United States. It can occur in large numbers in a year. The adults and larvae feed on eggplant leaves and quickly defoliate your plants. Adult beetles are about a 1/2-inch long and domed. They are yellow with five black stripes on each wing and a yellow-orange head. Adults can travel long distances to in search of food. They lay clusters of 15 to 25 bright yellow-orange eggs on the underside of leaves. The hump-backed, yellow-orange larvae vaguely resemble slugs, grows about a 1/2-inch long before dropping to the ground to pupate.
Other Chewing pests
Other chewing pests include eggplant flea beetles, borers and caterpillars. The adult eggplant flea beetle (Epitrixfuscula) is black with a 1/4-inch long, glossy dark blue to. It eats small pinholes in leaves and heavy infestations can cause severe stunting of young plants. The European corn borer (Ostrinia nubilalis) is the caterpillar of a moth chewing its way into the stems and fruits, eat the insides. The tomato hornworm (Manduca quinquernaculata) is a large 3-inch caterpillar that eats eggplant leaves. Its color ranges from light green to almost black, with contrasting stripes. It has a hornlike appendage at its stern. It is a voracious feeder, but rarely in large numbers.
Sucking pests plaguing eggplants are aphids, cicadas and clouded bugs. Potato aphid (Macrosiphum euphorbiae) suck the juices from eggplant leaves that to lure them and wither. They are reddish to greenish in color and form colonies on the underside of leaves. The potato leafhopper (Empoasca fabae) is a small, 1/4-inch, greenish, soft body, elongated insects with translucent wings. It sucks plant juices, which leaves curl and brown. The tarnished plant bug (Lygus lineolaris) is a similar 1/3-inch long with dark brown wings tarnished copper. It sucks juices of flowers and fruit buds, which they drop off the plant.
Most eggplant pests can be controlled with a broad spectrum garden pesticides such as pyrethrum or rotenone, but these chemicals also kill beneficial insects that eat the pests and can lead to a rebound of insect pests. Can spray gardeners who prefer more natural control methods solution of insecticidal soap or neem oil, which breathe with insects disturb mechanisms. The "heat" in hot peppers – as a spray you can use capsaicin. For a small garden plantings, beetle pests can be controlled by hand-picking adults, larvae and eggs. For some eggplant pests overwinter in the ground, you should turn to grow your plants and aubergines in the same place year after year.