Chrysanthemum eelworm Aphelenchoidesritzemabosi

Damage. The first symptom is blotching and purpling of the leaves, which spreads and becomes a dead brown, V-shaped area between the veins. The lower leaves are worst affected. When buds are infested, the resulting leaves may be misshapen. In addition to chrysanthemum, this nematode also attacks Saintpaulia and strawberries.

Life cycle. Most species of nematode live in the soil. This 1 mm long nematode spends most of its life cycle inside young leaves of the species mentioned above. The adults move along films of water on the surface of the plant, and enter the leaf through the stomata. They breed rapidly, the females laying about 30 eggs, which complete a life cycle in 14 days. During the winter they live as adults in stem tissues, but a few overwinter in the soil.

  1. This pest spreads mainly in infested stools.
  2. Greenhouse-grown chrysanthemums are rarely affected, as they are raised from pest-free cuttings. Warm-water treatment of dormant chrysanthemum stools, e.g. at 46°C for 5 min, is very effective for outdoor grown plants. Dispose of all plant debris.
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