Bulb eelworm

Onion attacked by bulb eelworm

  • Bulb eelworm affects a broad range of plants including Allium species, cereal crops, ornamental bubs and potatoes.
  • Damages roots and vegetative organs.
  • Penetration of onion leaves by bulb eelworm causes leaf deformation and leaf swellings or blister-like areas on the surface. The leaves grow in a disorderly fashion, often hang as if wilted and become yellow.
  • Young plants can be killed by high infestations. The inner scales of the bulb are usually more severely attacked than the outer scales. As the season advances bulbs become soft and when cut open show browning of the scales in concentric circles.
  • Present in all states and territories except Western Australia.
  • No movement controls are in place for this pest, but can be prevented from entering your farm through biosecurity measures.
  • Spreads through seed and soil.


Scientific name: Ditylenchus dipsaci
EPPRD Category:
Life Form: Nematode

Pest Documents

FS: fact sheet

CP: contingency plan

DP: diagnostic protocol