What's eating my baby peppers?

flo9July 19, 2014

I see no forum for sweet peppers... hope it's okay to ask in this forum.

I have at least 4 albino sweet pepper plants (some plants no idea what they are yet) and on only one plant so far there's been 5 baby ones growing that looks like an animal or something has chewed the tops off of them. Impossible for an animal to do this. The first pepper is safe... still on the plant.... the following are chewed up... then one other is surviving... just checked the ones that just got out of flower stage and see one that's very tiny has a tiny chew mark on it.

What is going on here??? I am always checking for bugs... I haven't see any on these and I inspect very well.

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woohooman

No problem with posting about sweet peppers here. All the same, except the heat. But can you post some pics please?

Kevin

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 2:58PM
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flo9

Okay, the ones that had big munching done on them are thrown out. Those were only eaten on the tops and some sides. Here's a picture of the one I just discovered and I am not sure if this is the same problem as the others... I will know in a few days as it grows. The others were only to grow as big as a quarter until lost it's life from being eaten.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 3:20PM
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woohooman

Hmm. Could be any number of insects... earwigs, fruitworms, hornworms, weevils, stink bugs, etc. Though you may not see them during the day, a nighttime inspection with a flashlight often discovers the culprit(s).

Kevin

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 3:36PM
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flo9

Yeah... I just read a thread someone mentioning to look at night. I haven't done that yet. Will do. BTW... I didn't rotate the picture.. don't know how that happened... I'm new to using windows 8 computers. Hate it.

All I see on this plant is a couple leaves with brown spots in the center as though someone dripped paint on it. A few of my other sweet and ghost pepper plants ... some leaves have a hole in them. The only bugs I've spotted are totaling about 5... a brown shiney back beetle that loves to eat leaves... and a jumbo sized looking lady bug... they get on my squash plants. The brown shiney ones also attack my sunflowers about starting from 8 feet over extending 20 feet, but I've only found very few and I kill them. Otherwise there's a lot of leaf hoppers on the sunflowers... only seen a couple on my garden food plants and that was on 1 eggplant.

All of the peppers sweet and ghost are heirlooms and everything else including tomatoes etc.... only 5 plants are hybrids and that's the 3 squash plants and 2 tomato plants. I have taken great measure this year trying my best to prevent pests and have greatly succeeded this year. The only things I've used for pest prevention are neem oil and diatomous earth. I quit using it on the sunflowers once they became mature... they're flowering now and many buds getting ready to flower...... I quit using products on them once matured because them leaf hoppers are only invading them and pretty much leaving my food garden alone. I don't plan to eat the seeds... growing them for show and for the birds.
There's a lot of small ants on the sunflowers too and I read ants protect aphids because they provide ants with food on the damage they do. I've taken off most of the eaten leaves since they lay eggs etc... eggs drop off to soil.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 4:08PM
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ronnyb123(Zone 9)

Actually, if you click on the picture, it pops up straight. At least on my windows 8 computer.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 5:18PM
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flo9

It doesn't on mine... assuming you mean clicking on the forum pic I posted. Ugh... I wish they'd quit making so many changes on every version.... XP was the best. I buy a new laptop every 2 years.... it's a peeve to figure everything new they do.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 6:44PM
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flo9

PS.... I'm also using aluminum foil wrapped around large pieces of pine mulch and placing that on top of loose mulch on most of my tomato plants and peppers. I'm doing this this year because not only does it help give my plants more sun since they only get 4-6 hours... I read it also discourages aphids from attacking. It seems to really be helping.
I have 5 heirloom tomato plants... different kinds and purchased 2 hybrids at a store that were small.... just playing it safe incase my pest prevention game plans failed.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 7:06PM
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ronnyb123(Zone 9)

Yes, click on the forum pic. If you get the hand, it should work. It works on my 7 computer too.

Flo9...I totally agree.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 7:14PM
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seysonn(8a WA/HZ 1)

I would add birds to the list of suspects.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 12:26AM
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Orekoc(7 Willamette Valley Oregon)

Flo - that's why I went to Linux. Couldn't stand M$ changing everything with each new version.

Not sure what is eating your plant, sorry.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 1:24AM
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northeast_chileman(6a)

My pics were posting sideways too, I'm using 8.1. As noted by Ronny if I click on the pic I see it properly in a separate window that opens. One fix is to load your pics into a photo hosting site, I use PhotoBucket, and then paste it here.

Hope this helps!
NECM

    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 7:40AM
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flo9

Thanks for turning the picture northeast :)

Seysonn, I have 2 sparrow similar looking types of birds that come over all the time... in fact ones out there right now, but I only see them looking for seeds and insects by my sunflowers. I feed them seeds as well. I've never seen them bothering my garden... a couple times sat on top of a tomato cage. And the only way they could munch on the peppers is if they rested on the 1st (biggest) pepper and I think it would break the stem off.
Whatever was eating on them they or it only ate off the center ones and left the outside ones alone.

I hadn't noticed right away what was going on... just saw a few new ones and I was like "cool" then looked at them closely a few days later and each day more was eaten or might of been rotting while plant still making them grow. After a week or so I clipped them off and threw away... but that time the peppers were black being rotted.

The baby pepper in picture still looks the same today. I guess it must of been a big bug that knew it's what to get to it each night or day when I wasn't home. It only ate the tops and worked it's way down.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 9:14AM
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northeast_chileman(6a)

Possibly fruit borer?

Here is a link that might be useful: Pepper Pics/Fruit Borer

    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 9:36AM
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flo9

Do you guys think it could be baby ants??? Now I'm seeing some small ants on this plant, but not on the others yet. Why would they like this plant so much and not the others that have peppers growing?

    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 9:40AM
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woohooman

Aphids. Ants farm aphids. But aphids are not your culprit... They suck fluid out of plant tissue, not fruit.

Any nighttime inspections yet?

Kevin

    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 12:16PM
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flo9

Not yet Kevin. I went to bed fairly early last night. If I have time before I go into work early tomorrow I'll give it all a look. I have to be at work at 4am.
What is the best time to look for bugs invading during the night anyways???

I rearranged some of my plants today. Actually the energy feels much better.. like a breath of fresh air and rejuvenation although I didn't do a major switch-a-roo... just switched a few containers spots around. Yesterday I took up all the snow pea plants that were dying.

Right after I did all that I took my dog for a walk and a neighbor asked me if I grow to sell the food. I mean that was just utterly bizzare.... is that a sign my garden will ravish me greater later this season? Or a round about way of asking to buy or be given something? I don't know. My plants barely produce squat. Yet I keep getting compliments from very many people. For instance... 1 zucchini plant hasn't given me a thing... 2 others only have given me 3 total. Low amounts of tomatoes on the plants so far besides the cherry ones... cucumbers... 1 plant just 1 pickle cucumber... other white cucumber just 3. Yeah... I'm ready to open a farmers market next week.
I've spent so many hundreds this season on seeds, soil, grow bags, compost and food for the plants... I've lost large amounts of money on most things I grow.
And it won't be until I own my own land where I can't get my plants to grow really great. ( I plan to win the lottery!)

This is a hobby and I grow most things I can not find in a grocery store or farmers market, but I would love to be a professional farmer.

BTW... has anyone ever seen 8 inch slug before????? I just saw a 2nd one today...... weeks ago a gigantic black one... today a brown one moving fast on the sidewalk. I've only lived in NC for a few years.... freaking gigantic these things are!!!!!! I've asked locals and nobody has seem them. Pesticides????

    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 6:33PM
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flo9

Okay... I just re-thought that. He's Jamaican. There are many living in my community and one of them told me they are farmers while back home and live in America for 9 months doing hospitality work. So it might be normal for some of their people to have small gardens to sell for profit. That's got to be it I think. Also because nobody can tell just yet what I'm growing besides the unusual albino peppers and the obvious snow peas I had.... tomatoes... they don't know what kind yet. They haven't asked. Still green. And I do have 30 containers growing food.

This post was edited by flo9 on Sun, Jul 20, 14 at 18:52

    Bookmark   July 20, 2014 at 6:47PM
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DMForcier(8 DFW)

An 8 inch slug ?? Holy crap! That thing could eat a whole plant in a night. No, don't use pesticides on slugs. There are many remedies, including cleaning up leaf litter or mulch where they like to hide during the day. In extremis you can use slug bait that is fairly specific.

As for the attentions of your neighbors, you are growing large plants so your garden must be obvious. Next time, invite him over to see the garden. If these guys are farmers, they may be a better source of advice than we are, who only see small snapshots of bits of your plants. Besides, they grow in a climate much like yours.

Speaking of which, one possible problem is attempting to grow varieties that are suited to your climate. Try asking specifically in the Veggie forum about your zukes, cukes, etc.

And what part of NC are you in? IIRC there are about five micro-climates in the state.

Dennis

    Bookmark   July 21, 2014 at 12:17PM
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flo9

Ok guys... I just had a chance to look at my plant here at night and it's one of those freaking GIGANTIC ...MONSEROUS slugs I was telling you about!!!!!
Today there were 2 chunks on the top sides eaten off the baby pic of it I showed you all a few days ago.

I've had deratomous earth on it... apparently doesn't work on them. I just sprinkled some salt on it. I am getting rid of this container tomorrow. In situations like this... this is where I really need someone to do this for me... I am too faintish etc for stuff like this.

On another note.... check out what was is front of my place today!!!!!! I've never been so close to a rainbow before.

Dennis, I am in Western NC, and many kids come over to look at the plants and I educate them etc.... the other neighbors stop, look and ask me questions and frequently say my garden looks great.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 1:13AM
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flo9

Well, heck... the forum won't allow me to post the slug picture... claiming too large. ?????????

I tried making a new thread to show it... I'm telling you guys... this thing is freaking HUGE... I don't understand it... the picture is the same size as the other ones I've shared here... won't let me post it. I don't know computers so well to do anything else. Making a photobucket... eh... not in the mood tonight.

I saw a black one it's size a month ago on my patio... this sucker is likely in a container too.... the one I caught on my plant is tan with dark brown markings.

This post was edited by flo9 on Sat, Jul 26, 14 at 1:26

    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 1:17AM
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woohooman

Just go get some iron phosphate pellets...i.e., slug bait. Sluggo, Korry's, etc. They'll clear up your slug problem in no time.

Kevin

    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 2:41AM
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flo9

http://eol.org/pages/452590/overview and apparently another species as well since one is black.

EDIT... sorry... lost some of the comment. According to others experiences on another forum slug bait and kill stuff for general slugs doesn't kill these guys.
I poured salt on it and I don't see a corpse. But I just looked at my 2 eggplants and see huge chunks of slime on some leaves and goo on a couple other leaves... plus some stems that were growing eggplants are broken off now. GGGGGGGGGGRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!! I hate these jack asses now. And apparently there's a rumor on the internet these guys are our friends in the garden!!! And some people are taking others word for it.
I managed to post a picture of it on their forum proving their theory wrong.
People also have commented it's really hard to rid their slim they leave behind sliding around.

Well, since they lay eggs and seems to of mostly hung out in that pepper plant... I threw the entire plant and container in the dumpster.

I am not too terribly upset since I don't really care for the taste of this type of sweet pepper. It taste like eating floral air freshener. I won't be growing these again unless I have an acre of land and plan to sell at a farmers market since some people do like them and they're unusual heirlooms. I even tried grilling one of them yesterday and still doesn't taste that good. Yeah, so... what produces on my other plants I am giving them away.

This post was edited by flo9 on Sat, Jul 26, 14 at 12:34

    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 9:37AM
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Mecdave Zone 8/HZ 9

Wow... I just looked at that photo and can understand why you're creeped out by it. Since you were going to toss the plant anyway, a shotgun blast would have ensured it's demise and been a lot more satisfying. ;)

    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 1:16PM
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flo9

lol mecdave

I think the B!@#$% might of left the container. I really want you guys to see this proof I found of it eating my pepper last night. It is a horror picture... freaking so gigantic and has MASSIVE jaws. This slug only belongs in a jungle/rain forest where all the creepy insects only belong. Some nit wit whoever thought they are soooo super cool brought them to America. People need to stop doing this. Nothing beneficial for these slugs in a garden and plus they are not native to America.

Understandably so... this forum won't allow other forum link to show the picture... I promise I'll post it here when I have a chance... working jobs etc... need to create a new email address, get a photobucket etc... too much work on work days.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 3:02PM
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Mecdave Zone 8/HZ 9

Here you go flo9. I found your photo and uploaded it to my Photobucket account. If that's not acceptable, or it's not oriented correctly, just let me know...

I also took the liberty of zooming in on it along with a couple other enhancements (mostly sharpening)...

This post was edited by mecdave on Sat, Jul 26, 14 at 15:41

    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 3:29PM
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flo9

Thanks mecdave and yes it's acceptable the favor you did for me. :)

I found it around 12:30 am. After work tonight I'll be outside with a flashlight looking around if it's still there or more of them.

If anyone knows how to get rid of them please let me/us know. If salt, dermatosis earth (sp) and slug killer doesn't work... only thing I know left to do is where 5 pairs of gloves, close my eyes and think of something pleasant using mind over matter to capture it, toss in a bag and throw it out somewhere.

I don't like to kill things... but leave my garden alone. I've already lost money between garden expenses to grow this year vs what food it's provided.... and it's killing my food that's trying to provide for me.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 4:34PM
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