dracula13
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Will my Bell Pepper be ok?

This morning I walked into the garden, and one of two of my bell pepper plants were stripped of its leaves except for a couple of true leaves. Even the growth point was cut off!

Anyway I have no idea what it was, but also, all the leaves that were cut off were spread around the surrounding ground.

https://plus.google.com/u/0/photos?q=go ... 8111162905

Will it survive?

imafan26
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Re: Will my Bell Pepper be ok?

It is probably slugs or snails. Put out slug bait. If they are slugs or snails you might see the trails and they will be back to finish off the pepper seedling. They will eat it to the ground. If it survives, it can still put out side shoots from the lower nodes. If you have cut hair from the barber shop you can put it around the plant as a barrier. Copper strips can also be a barrier if placed around the cutting and excluding any slugs or snails inside the barrier.

If the pepper does not survive, make sure the slugs are gone before another seedling is planted. You can keep the pepper in a one gallon pot and plant it out after it has grown a bit. The slugs will still climb the pepper to get at the leaves but they won't eat through the stem and the pepper will survive.

Slugs and snails are hard to totally eliminate without a heroic effort or toads, chickens or ducks. Chickens and ducks also like to eat tender plants especially lettuce and they don't care where they poop so there is that to consider.

I go out with a zip loc bag when I water early in the morning and collect or squash every slug and snail I find. I used to toss them in the garbage can but they climb out so they need to be in a zip loc or sealed container or salted first. I average 7 a day but my record is 21 in one morning's outing. The downside to mulch is that it is a good place for slugs and snails to hide.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

dracula13
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Re: Will my Bell Pepper be ok?

thanks for the information!! but I think the slugs or snails ate the nodes on the stem too. would it still grow side shoots from nothing?

imafan26
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Re: Will my Bell Pepper be ok?

There are nodes wherever a leaf petiole is attached. I saw a couple of nodes that should be ok providing the slugs have not come back to finish off the plant. If you don't have any nodes left, then it is unlikely to grow back.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

dracula13
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Re: Will my Bell Pepper be ok?

Can you please post pictures or web links of snails that would eat the plant?? I don't know what I am supposed to be looking for. Well, yesterday when I first saw the damage, there was one of those snails in a pretty shell that you see pretty much anywhere. Like tree snails, but on the ground. Could that have been the problem?

imafan26
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Re: Will my Bell Pepper be ok?

Here's a couple of links I found the video link embedded in the UCdavis site also lists other pests that eat young leaves like caterpillars, grasshoppers, earwigs, katydids, and weevils and have descriptions on signs to look for.

I rarely have caterpillars in my garden. I occasionally find locusts, but not this time of year. I do have a 'wet' garden with lots of hiding places. I find slugs and snails hiding in mulch, grass, weeds, under pots, in the pots (they crawl in through the drain holes and slugs and snails have no problem climbing trees, fences and benches. When I see seedlings on my benches getting chomped on, I have to check every pot for slugs in the bottom of the pots and I put bait under the bench and in cups on top of the bench. I have even had slugs and snails climb my Portuguese kale and meyer lemon branches to get on top of my bench. I don't always see slime trails but early in the morning and in the evening they come out and I spot them on the sidewalk and on the grass. They prefer young seedlings and new growth and will eat the roots of older plants. Beetles are usually responsible for the holes in the tall plants like the beans and corn but it looks different. There are more holes, the edges are not as smooth and the leaves are usually older than what the snails prefer. Cut worms are caterpillars that will eat through a stem of a young plant and drop it like a tree in a forest. Then come back and eat what has fallen.

I switch baits because after a while, I find the slugs start refusing the bait. I have used beer or yeast traps but they require more maintenance. The board works but the board has to be checked every morning. Deadline works as a barrier but loses effectiveness after it dries. I try to limit methaldehyde in the vegetable garden so I use it more in the ornamentals and around the perimeter of the vegetable garden or I put the bait in containers in the garden (a cup tipped on its side). Iron phosphate is not attractive to pets. It seems to decrease the visibility of the snails and slugs but I don't find as many dead bodies as I do with the other baits.

For every slug and snail you see there are probably 20 that you missed.

I have African snails which can get really big, very small bush snails that are not easy to spot, and three different kinds of slugs. I do have cannibal snails and those are the only ones that I leave alone.

https://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/PESTNOTES/pn7427.html
https://www.hungrypests.com/the-threat/g ... -snail.php
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

dracula13
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Re: Will my Bell Pepper be ok?

I THINK I FOUND THE CULPRIT!


So, I went out in the garden at 10:00 with a flashlight, and I was searching through the pine needles at the base of the pepper plant that was eaten, and there was an armyworm about an inch long.

It looked like the 4th picture down of this website:

https://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/fie ... myworm.htm

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applestar
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Re: Will my Bell Pepper be ok?

Yeah, a number of pests feed at night, and night time patrol with a flashlight yields results.
Good job hunting it down :twisted:

I would still keep on the lookout for slugs/snails. In the summertime, I like going out early on misty or drizzly mornings or just before the sun comes up when it's light enough to see but some of the slowpoke slugs haven't made it back to their hiding spots. :mrgreen:
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rainbowgardener
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Re: Will my Bell Pepper be ok?

Good job finding it! I just saw this post, but I was thinking slugs /snail don't usually strip a plant like that. Slugs are the worst pest of my pepper plants, nothing else usually bothers them. But generally they just leave holes in the leaves. Over time, the leaves will gradually be turned in to lace, with nothing but veins left, but even so the leaves are still attached to the plant. And it takes a good while of them working on it to get to the lace stage.

Some kind of caterpillar type pest was seeming more likely to me.
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imafan26
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Re: Will my Bell Pepper be ok?

Good for you. Congratulations. Now, you just have to take care of its' cousins in the grass.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

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gixxerific
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Re: Will my Bell Pepper be ok?

Just seeing this now. How is the plant doing? At times they can be very resiliant. When I first read i thought Caterpillar or rabbit. I have tons of rabbits and they ate a few of my many pepper plants dang near to the ground multiple times in the beginning last year but i did not lose a single plant.

Good luck

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