Spinach pests: What are they and how to eliminate them with natural remedies

Hello to all agrohuerters! In today’s article we will focus on spinach pests. Spinach is one of the crops that we can have in the garden practically all year round, also in the winter garden. Its scientific name is Spinacea oleracea, it belongs to the Amaranthaceae family and can be consumed fresh, cooked or fried.

spinach in the garden

Spinach pests and other problems in the crop

As we will see below, spinach pests can be very varied. These include spinach worms, green aphids, snails and slugs, nematodes, etc. We will now look at each of these spinach problems in more detail.

Worms in spinach (Grey worms or Agrotis)

It seems that spinach becomes very palatable to insects of the Noctuidae family from the 6-leaf stage. This species of caterpillars belongs to the order of Lepidoptera and to the family of Noctuidae (nocturnal activity). Adults are brown with drawings on the forewings. The caterpillars are gray, hence their name. There are usually two generations a year.

The fight against this type of species is not easy since they hide among the spinach leaves.

Agrotis segetum, one of the pests of spinach (Source: Agrointegra)

Nematodes: spinach dried

Nematodes can also affect our spinach plants. The most damaging nematodes for spinach are those of the genus Heterodera. This type of nematodes can also affect other crops such as: beets, carrots, brassicas, etc. They can even affect some weeds.

Among the most common symptoms, the formation of cysts in the roots of plants stands out. I remind you that nematodes are very small organisms that live in the soil, which is why they affect the roots.

It is not usually one of the most frequent pests, but in the case of detecting it, it is advisable to carry out a crop rotation or apply the solarization method.

snails and slugs

Snails and slugs are one of the animals that are always present in our gardens, to learn how to control them I recommend that you consult the following article: how to eliminate snails and slugs from the garden.

One of the most characteristic symptoms of this pest is leaves that are bitten or have holes.

Green Bugs in Spinach: Green Aphid

Like the previous ones, aphids are one of the insects that seem to be always present. In the case of spinach, one of the species that is most present is Aphis fabae (black aphid) or Myzus persicae.

Aphids are usually in colonies among spinach leaves. Depending on the year, the damage and its presence will be more or less important. When there is an attack of aphids the plant becomes weaker. In addition, as we have seen on other occasions, there is a risk that they transmit a virus to our beet plants.

I leave you here a photo I took of the black aphid during my internship in France.

Black aphid (Aphis fabae)

Galleries or tunnels in spinach leaves

The beet fly, scientifically known as Pegomia betae or Pegomia hyoscyami, can also affect our spinach. The adult state is a light gray fly (like the one you can see in the photo). The eggs are white, very elongated. Eggs are normally found in groups of 3-4 on the underside of leaves.

The larvae break through the epidermis of the leaves and penetrate into the leaf tissues. For this reason, one of the most characteristic symptoms of this pest is the formation of galleries in the leaves that can occupy the entire surface. If we observe that our spinach leaves have galleries in the leaves, it may be due to this pest.

If it is any consolation, it is not one of the most frequent pests that we can find.

Pegomyia betae (Source: INRA)

Grow organic spinach: eliminate pests naturally

Once we know how to identify the main pests of spinach, it is necessary to learn how to control them. To do this, we will see different prevention and control methods that you can use in your orchards and gardens.

Spinach Pest Prevention Methods

I remind you that prevention methods are those that will help us prevent the appearance of spinach pests and diseases.

Among all the preventive methods that exist, the most important are listed below:

  • Crop rotation
  • Work the soil before planting to reduce the number of larvae of some insects.
  • Use resistant varieties
  • Solarization (very good to fight nematodes)
  • Disinfect materials used with diseased cultures.

How to eliminate spinach pests with ecological remedies

On the contrary, the control methods are those that we must apply once we have seen the pests or diseases present in our crop. Here are the most common for this crop:

  • The most widely used biopesticides in these cases are Bacillus thuringiensis or Spinosad in the case of caterpillars or Azadirachtin for aphids. Bacillus thurigiensis comes in the form of «dried» spores in boxes. It is very easy to apply and you can find it with different trade names. It’s pretty easy to find at garden stores.
  • In the case of slugs or snails you can use, for example, Ferramol. This product comes from materials naturally present in nature (active material: ferric phosphate). For this reason, ferramol is authorized in organic farming. You can buy it at any organic farming supply store or garden center.


If you dare to grow organic spinach I leave you a link where you can see how to do it step by step: How to grow spinach in your garden.

This is all for today agrohuerters. I hope you liked the article on spinach pests and diseases. Do not hesitate to write your experiences or doubts in the comments.

See you in the next article! Have a nice day

Related posts

Deja una respuesta

Tu dirección de correo electrónico no será publicada. Los campos obligatorios están marcados con *

Botón volver arriba