Fava Beans Pests and Diseases: Complete Guide with Photos

Hello to all gardeners! In today’s article we will learn what are the most important pests and diseases of broad beans and how we can control them. The identification of the different symptoms is essential when making a good diagnosis in our gardens. Therefore, with the help of the photos and various guidelines, I hope that after this article we can confirm whether our beans are in good condition or not.

I remind you of some important information:

In the scientific world it is known as  Vicia faba. It belongs to the fabaceae family (also known as legumes) like soybeans, lentils, alfalfa, … The bean is a climbing herbaceous plant (the stems become entangled) and annual. This species is cultivated all over the world due to its seeds, used in food. In the roots we can find a kind of nodules due to their ability to fix nitrogen in the soil.

1. Fava bean pests and diseases: most important pests

Brown bugs: legume sitonia

Sitona is a species of beetle that mainly affects grain legumes (broad beans, lentils, beans, peas, …). In spring they feed on the edge of the leaves. After reproducing, the laying takes place in the ground and from there the small larvae feed on the roots.

To detect its presence we must look at the edge of the damaged leaves. These damages translate into growth retardation. The larvae, on the other hand, do not cause significant damage to the roots.

Here you have a photo of some sitonia that I came across during my internship in France:

Black aphids on broad beans

Aphids belong to the aphid family and as we have seen in other articles, they are one of the most common pests in orchards and gardens. They are small in size (1-3 mm in length) and can present different colors depending on the species to which they belong.

They attack young shoots of crops with high sugar content. The larvae cause damage by making galleries in the leaves of the plants. As for adults, they feed by sucking the sap from leaves, buds and young shoots using the stylet of their mouthparts. In addition, they excrete a sticky, sugary liquid called  molasses  that attracts ants.

They favor the appearance of a fungus known as  bold  and can also transmit viruses from one plant to another.

There are many methods to fight aphids that you can consult in previous articles. Today I leave you a link on how to prepare a garlic infusion to end them.

Pea thrips on beans

Silvery or brownish markings can be seen on plants that are affected by this insect. Adult thrips are black and nymphs, on the contrary, are pale yellow. This species is very harmful especially in hot and dry summers.

Control: Surveillance and chromatic traps.

2. Fava bean diseases

Broad bean rust ( Uromyces viciae-fabae )

As its name suggests, this type of rust affects broad beans but other genera such as Pisum, Lens, Lathyrus and Orobus can also be affected It is present throughout the country. It needs mild temperatures and very high humidity. It can appear after long periods of abundant rains.

It is characterized by the appearance on the leaves of circular spots of at least 1 mm in diameter. Later, cinnamon-colored pustules can be seen, and in later stages, black-colored pustules appear on the stems and leaves. It can cause significant defoliation of plants.

Brown spots on beans: mildew

One of the fungi that most affects broad beans is Mildew. This fungus also affects other types of crops such as tomatoes, melons, broccoli, radishes, turnips, … It can be damaged by the fungus in any stage of growth. However, due to the conditions that it requires cold and humidity to develop, it usually appears in the seedling stage and in mature plants. It produces greasy-looking spots of different shades on the leaves, which later turn brown and wilt.

To control this disease we must avoid that the transplanted plants are infected and it is recommended to choose varieties resistant to this disease. In addition, it is important to keep the soil clean of weeds or weeds and to be careful with excess irrigation water.

In the following image you can see the appearance of a bean plant affected by Mildew .

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