Eggplant seeds 5 gm
, which chew many tiny holes in leaves, are eggplant’s worst pest To avoid this problem, keep plants indoors until early summer, or cover outdoor plants with floating row cover or dust the foliage with kaolin clay (re-apply it after rain). If plants become infested, spraying Beauveria bassiana or spinosad may knock back the population of flea beetles and save your plants. When eggplants are grown in containers that are at least a foot-and-a-half off the ground, the flea beetles don’t seem to find them as easily.
Hand pick and destroy yellow-and-black-striped Colorado potato beetles and the yellow masses of eggs they lay on leaf undersides. Hand picking is also effective for tomato hornworms, 4-inch green caterpillars with white stripes. Don’t destroy those covered with tiny white cocoons; these contain the parasitic offspring of the beneficial braconid wasp. Tiny spider mites cause yellow-stippled leaves; control these pests by knocking them off the plant with a spray of water.