They enter plant roots, and cause distinct root knots and severe deformation on the roots, preventing the plant from absorbing water and nutrients effectively, stunting plant growth, and damaging root systems. Nematodes drain plant photosynthates and nutrients, are stunted, chlorotic, wilt easily, and are not productive. Infection in young plants may kill the plants, while in a mature crop, the yield and quality are reduced. Root-knot nematodes feed through a retractable stylet which is used for piercing and feeding.
An Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program involving monitoring of nematode populations, cultural practices, biological control agents, and chemical nematicides.