Pests & Diseases Affecting Jerusalem artichoke
You will be very unlucky if you have serious problems with Jerusalem artichokes. They are extremely hardy and pest and disease free. In most years you should be able simply to forget them until you come to dig them up. Two pests and one disease might just give you trouble, however.
Slugs: large holes eaten into the tubers are usually the work of slugs. These pests are most active in wet summers and on wet and heavy land. A well-kept garden discourages them by reducing the number of places where they can hide. You can trap slugs in piles of rottingwhich you should inspect daily, destroying any slugs you find. Alternatively, if their attacks are severe enough to warrant it, use a proprietary slug bait according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Swift moth: swift moths are another-borne pest which may also eat holes in the tubers. The dirty white caterpillars which are the larvae of the moths, live in the soil and feed on the roots of Jerusalem artichokes and other plants, particularly . A well-kept garden with few weeds is less likely to become infected. If you do suffer from swift moths, however, try lightly forking the soil to bring the caterpillars onto the soil surface where they are eaten by insect-catching birds. If the attack is severe you can also spray the soil with trichlorphon.
Sclerotina rot: this disease appears as a white, fluffy fungus which even-tually produces black resting spores. The disease is worst in cold damp conditions. Stored roots are particularly susceptible but occasionally the stems at ground level and tubers of growing plants are also attacked. Pull up and destroy all infected plants and do not store any damaged roots, as the rot will quickly spread to the healthy tubers.