Pest: Nematodes (General)

Pest Type: Nematodes, parasite


Major Identifying Features: Nematodes are microscopic, eel-like roundworms, too small to be seen without a microscope, identification is by mouth part

Life Cycle: Go through 6 stages-an egg stage, 4 immature stages, and an adult stage, many species can reach maturity within 21-28 days during warm summer months, survive from season to season as eggs in the soil

Pest Rating: varies

Management Rating: Difficult

Host/Season/Outbreak Information: Many different species are root-feeding on tomatoes, strawberries, eggplants, etc.

Damage Information: Most damaging nematodes in California are root knot nematodes (Meloidogyne spp.), attack a wide range of plants including vegetables, fruit trees, and ornamentals, can spread easily, cause swellings called galls on roots of affected plants, damages abilities of water and nutrient conduction, galls can be the beginning of other diseases, nematodes usually do not kill plant, plants can live with a small number of nematodes, they damage plants by reducing root mass, root cells are killed to serve as food for the nematode, typical root symptoms occur, premature wilting, leaf yellowing, plant stunting, irregular symptom patterns

Management Options: Prevention (including sanitation and choice of plant varieties) by crop rotation, soil solarization


Lectures CRC, David Andrews


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