Hole in Orange Bell Pepper

esox07August 30, 2012

I noticed this "HOLE" in one of my bell peppers a couple days ago. After looking real close, I can see that it is not just a blemish, but a hole that you can actually see through into the inside of the pepper. The pepper itself is otherwise in great shape and is nice and firm as are the other 4 peppers on this plant. I am guessing it is some kind of parasitic insect and would not be surprised to find a cocoon or egg nest inside.

Does anyone have an idea what I am dealing with here? Should I pick the pepper and discard it? Should I just let it go and see what happens? Or, should I seal the hole and see what happens?

Bruce

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avidgardener25

It may sound silly, but I have had the same problem with ants sneakily burrowing into my okra and bell peppers. As to what to do with that pepper, I am not completely certain. Sorry.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2012 at 6:21PM
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tsheets(5)

I have seen those types of holes in my peppers before as well. Actually, I was wondering if earwigs make that kind of hole because I have those around. That is why I was hounding Bill for close-ups of his earwig damaged fruit. :-) At this point, I am still not 100% sure what makes them.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2012 at 6:53PM
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esox07

I wonder if I should just pluck it and open it up and see what is inside. I thought someone would have the answer right off on this one. I hate to pull it because it is one of 5 on the plant and one of two that is full size...just waiting for them to ripen at this point. I am still hoping for an answer and some advice at this point.
Bruce

    Bookmark   August 30, 2012 at 10:58PM
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Darylltx

Pick it its gone. Why take a chance on your health?

    Bookmark   August 30, 2012 at 11:14PM
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Boost313

+1 Darylltx

Everytime I've seen this on my peppers they're molded on the inside by the time they are ripe. I too have not figured out the problem. But seeing a hole that big this young and green. It's eneatible. Seeds will end up black, brown and moldy.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2012 at 11:35PM
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tsheets(5)

If it rots, throw it out - sometimes that happens. But if it doesn't start to rot and there wasn't anything alarming inside, I've just cut around the hole and lived to tell about it. :-)

I'm still curious as to what causes the holes.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2012 at 11:40PM
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esox07

Should I cover the hole with something. It is on the top edge of the pepper and has a chance for rain to get in. Plus, if it is bugs laying eggs or making cocoons in there, I would feel really good sealing them inside the tomb they built.
Bruce

    Bookmark   August 31, 2012 at 12:08AM
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woohooman

Bruce:

I get those now and then. I just always assumed they were caterpillars(tomato/tobacco hornworm or cabbage loopers) since they're always flying around my plants, but now that some have mentioned earwigs, I'm not so sure.

I wouldn't seal it. If it burrowed, it's already inside. You can try to let it ripen, but rot may take over before that occurs.

Whether ripe or not(and not rotted), I just cut out the bad part before eating.

From my experience(and I know this was just an experiment with bells for YOU), you'll want to have a few colored bell plants in the future if you like them--- they're poor producers and a few you'll lose each season due to sunscald and things like this. Try to space the planting (and even the STARTING of seeds) times though--- they'll all seem to ripen at the same time if you don't.

I might try to overwinter one or two next year, because they seem to really take off with flowering AFTER the initial harvest, but they take so long to ripen, I end up having to pick a lot while some are still partially green. Too bad I'm not a few more miles closer to the coast---LOL.

Kevin

    Bookmark   August 31, 2012 at 12:30AM
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woohooman

Oops. BTW, you'll want to use BT K variant for caterpillars or plant carrots, parsley, dill, etc. to attact parasitic wasps(probably too late for the latter-- this year.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2012 at 12:33AM
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esox07

woohooman: Try growing them in Wisconsin, then you really have to deal with a shorter growing season. Actually, this bell plant was started after my others. It took a while to flower and set pods but once it got going, it did well. The peppers grew to full size quickly. A couple of weeks ago, I snipped all but the 5 biggest. I would probably have a dozen on there by now if I hadn't. It keeps flowering but I keep snipping hoping it concentrates on putting some color in the 5 already on the plant. I probably have a month yet to go before the frost will get them. I really didn't expect much when I planted it as it was seed from a super market pepper. So, I am happy at this point.
Bruce

    Bookmark   August 31, 2012 at 1:00AM
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esox07

Oh, wooohooman: Seems you have some experience growing Bells. I have some questions for you or anyone else. The seed for this plant is from an Orange Bell. Will it ripen to orange and then just stay orange or will it eventually turn red? Also, is a green bell pepper simply an unripe orange/red bell pepper? Are they all basically the same pepper but just different stages of ripeness? Or are green, red, orange, yellow bell peppers all different varieties?B
Bruce

    Bookmark   August 31, 2012 at 1:04AM
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woohooman

Bruce:

Regarding the snipping, I always assumed that once a fruit reached full size, that's when coloring began. So snipping(foliage or flowers) might help smaller fruit speed up to full size, it doesn't help with coloring. I always though that coloring was just a matter of time and heat(temp), not plant energy.

Regarding color, I've never grown greens, so that I don't know. But with all colored, it's been pretty much green to final color. Wether it's red, orange, yellow, purple, chocolate, ivory, etc.

LOL...sad thing for you though...I've noticed ORANGE to take longer than other colors.

Regarding seeds from the market-- I've gotten better seeds from there than I have from Ferry Morse and Burpee.

Good Luck!

Kevin

    Bookmark   August 31, 2012 at 4:38PM
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peppernovice

Bruce....Not trying to be rude but what good would sealing the hole do? If it burrowed in, couldn't it just burrow out?

Tim

    Bookmark   September 1, 2012 at 12:43AM
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northerner_on(Z5A ONCanada)

I have had a few occurences of this problem this year in my hot peppers and I think it's caused by earwigs, since we had a lot of them this year. In each case, the pepper fell off before ripening and when cut open there were little black deposits, maybe faeces or eggs, but probably faeces because when left alone nothing materialized. I do not think it will develop into anything edible.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2012 at 1:16AM
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esox07

peppernovice, you are probably right, but I am wondering if maybe something burrowed in, then laid eggs, the baby critters may not have the ability to get out. I like torturing insects that piss me off. Like mosquitos: I love spraying them directly with OFF when they land on me. Or those damn Japanese Beetles, nothing satisfies more than being able to douse them in a spray of Sevin....little bastards.
Bruce

    Bookmark   September 1, 2012 at 11:29AM
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