slick-rides
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Pepper Pest Help

Hello. This is only my 3rd year of having a small garden. 1st 2 years nothing bothered my peppers. This year I apparently have a pest infestation of something eating or boring holes in my sweet bell peppers. After searching the internet it looks like I might have a worm or caterpillar problem? I tried to find one today but didn't. I looked under leaves and broke open the peppers that had holes. I also have some random holes in the leaves as well. Please look at these pics and let me know what you think. I'm in northern Ohio. Thinking of trying a BT pesticide??? Thank you in advance! Phil
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slick-rides
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Just came in from checking the plants while dark. Didn't find anything other than some slugs on the ground. I sprinkled some slug bait I had and watched them start digging in. :D I'm not convinced it was slugs doing the pepper damage though?

imafan26
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Location: Hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

It isn't slugs. The young leaves would be targeted before older peppers. If the inside of the cavity near the seeds are black and rotting I have a couple of suspects
Usually pepper weevils come out of the ground around now. They lay an egg on the pepper flower and the larvae burrows into the pepper eating the insides as the pepper grows. You will notice the infesting peppers look like they are ripening faster even showing some yellow streaks, then they get water logged and mushy. If you examine the cap of the pepper you will find a small hole at the edge of the cap where the weevil emerged. They mate and then hibernate in the ground until next year. To avoid them, you have to rotate the peppers to another part of the garden. Adults feast on leaves and fruit of nightshades.
https://ipm.ucanr.edu/PMG/r604301011.html

European corn borer also causes that kind of damage. It is the larvae of a moth that likes to burrow into corn ears but also peppers and feed on turf roots. I don't think this is what is bothering your plant.
https://www.pubs.ext.vt.edu/content/dam ... 06_pdf.pdf

Here are some other common pests of peppers
https://www.ipm.uconn.edu/documents/raw2 ... ation2.pdf

That bug on your leaf is also suspect. I can't tell what it is, but it is probably not a good bug.

slick-rides
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Thanks for the tips. I guess I have to keep searching until I actually find the culprit. That way I'll have a better idea of how to treat.

slick-rides
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Still getting the pepper damage. Today I found an earwig inside of a damaged pepper. Think earwigs are my problem or did he just enter after something else chewed the holes?

imafan26
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I'm not sure they are the culprit. They like to hide in cavernous spaces and while they do eat fruit, they also eat other insects. The holes look more like a corn borer. By the time the peppers get to that stage they have already pupated.
Remove the damaged fruit as soon as you see any holes especially near the cap. Try covering the peppers with a bag. I make mine out of tulle fabric. I make bags with a purse string closure to cover fruits. I make rectangles for peppers and tomatoes and longer bags for cukes and squash. It is important to cover the fruit soon after pollination. Most boring pests lay their eggs on the flowers or young fruit.

Slugs and snails prefer foliage but they will eat fruit, so put out sluggo just in case.

matisses
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Hey I just wanted to say I've grown peppers here and there for a few years here in Georgia and just today found a couple super hot peppers with this kind of damage. Same size hole with blackened edges and black seeds inside. There was a small hole at the top of the pepper as well. I had no idea about these!

Matsa
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Hello, I’ve been growing peppers for a few years now but this year on the leaves I’ve noticed tiny mites. Does anyone have any idea how can I get rid of them? I attached photos of the infested leaves and all of the pepper plants have them. Thank you
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applestar
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Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M(11/B)

Those are aphids I believe — the smallest white flick-like things are empty shells/skins that were discarded/shed when they grew from one stage to the next.

The close ups show that the massive infestation had already attracted the attention of a local beneficial predator. Those largest slug-like yellow/brown creatures look like Hoverfly/Syrfid nymphs or possibly Green Lacewing nymphs.

If you spray any poisons (even soapy water) you will also kill the predators. But you might rinse the leaves off with water with gentle spray from a sprayer or hose-end shower. This will eliminate the loose shed skins etc. and give you a better idea of how much active infestation is going on and eliminate the pests using targeted stronger, shooting sprays of water (or simply squish with fingers).

pepperhead212
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What kinds of peppers are you growing? If they are the larger, smoother types, you could spray them with Surround - a totally safe kaolin clay powder that keeps most bugs off plants, since they don't like the feel of it! For smaller peppers it's a pain to get off - it doesn't wash off easily (good thing, because it doesn't wash off easily with rain), but with larger ones, like bells, it wipes off easily. It needs to be applied especially to the undersides of leaves. I use it especially to prevent aphids on okra, and flea beetles on eggplants, but I also apply it to pepper plants early in the season, and stop when they start setting fruits.

Vanisle_BC
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Location: Port Alberni, B.C. Canada, Zone 7 (+?)

@Pepperhead, thanks for clarifying what Surround is made of. I'd imagined it was something 'chemical' and maybe suspect. On leaves, doesn't it inhibit photo-synhthesis? Is the Kaolin similar to Bentonite (I think that's Montmorillonite?) I'm familiar with that in wine clearing and it's definitely hard to 'dissolve' - but eventually turns into a sticky, slippery mess.

pepperhead212
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Vanisle Yes, surround does block some of the light, but not enough to limit the growth of the plants. In fact, one of the things it helps with, in very warm places, is to reflect about 20% of the light, to cool the plants somewhat.

Matsa
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Thank you all for the great advice and thorough explanation. I couldn’t reply because it showed me that the page is down. However, I did try one of the methods, I sprayed them with soapy water but it seems that once is not enough. To answer the question what kind of peppers I’m growing, I planted chili, jalapeños, and two sorts that are probably native to my region as I don’t seem to find them translated or with a latin name on Google. I’ll attach a photo of them. I’m also growing them under plastic film greenhouse(english is not my first language so I don’t know if that’s correct).
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