How to Manage Pests

Pests in Gardens and Landscapes

Mosaic viruses of peppers and eggplants

Peppers and eggplants are susceptible to several different viruses. Many are spread by aphids, and some are spread by seed or mechanically. Symptoms of viruses include mosaic patterns (alternating light and dark green coloring) on leaves, leaf curling, fruit distortion, overall stunting of the plant, or death.


Minimize plant handling and damage to reduce the dispersal of some viruses that can be spread mechanically. For viruses transmitted by aphids, it is not practical to try to control them by using insecticides. Reflective mulches may reduce or delay infections as it helps repel insects from plants. Pull up plants showing symptoms; they will be unproductive and may allow disease to spread to nearby healthy plants. Keep broadleaf weeds down, because they may serve as a reservoir of viruses and facilitate spread. Plant resistant varieties if available.

Cucumber mosaic virus of pepper
Cucumber mosaic virus of pepper

Virus symptoms on pepper fruit
Virus symptoms on pepper fruit

Statewide IPM Program, Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California
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