Besides tomatoes, this virus can infect chili peppers, eggplant, lettuces, radicchio, peanuts, and fava beans.
Symptoms of tomato spotted wilt
When the tomato spotted wilt virus infects a plant, it blocks the flow of water and nutrients in the xylem, causing it to wilt. This viral disease also causes spots, stunted growth, a crumpled leaf appearance, leaf cupping, dead spots on leaves and stems, and overall discoloration.
Symptoms can vary depending on the plant’s overall health, the cultivar, environmental factors, and life stage at the time of infection:
This disease is easily mistaken for curly top and alfalfa mosaic virus. You can take samples to your County Extension Office, though the control measures are similar for all three diseases.
How tomato spotted wilt spreads
Thrips spread the tomato spotted wilt virus. These sap-sucking pests carry the virus with them. As they feed, they insert the virus. Many ornamentals and weeds, such as cheeseweed, sowthistle, bindweed, and prickly lettuce, are hosts for thrips infected with tomato spotted wilt.
Managing tomato spotted wilt
It is easier to prevent tomato spotted wilt. These tips can help reduce the chance of it occurring in your foodscape:
May you never find tomato spotted wilt in your garden!
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