Return to the Hot Pepper Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
Bugs on my pepper plant

Posted by natebetween none (My Page) on
Sun, Apr 22, 12 at 16:02

Hello all,

First, I've been though countless "bug" posts, but haven't seen anything that looks exactly like what I have. Though it could be that I just have such a bad infestation that mine looks worse than what I've seen so far.

Growing habaneros, serranos, and jalapenos. For kicks, I picked up a hot pepper plant at my local big home improvement store.

Unfortunately, after about a week I seem to have a HUGE infestation on the store bought plant, and I'm worried about my other peppers. They've been separated for now, but it's just another part of the house (outdoors), and I'm worried the "flies" may find their way their since there are now so many of them.

The good news (so far) is they seem to mostly stay stuck to the plant and not fly around too much.

Any ideas on 1) what they are, and 2) how to get rid of them?

Thanks.

http://img403.imageshack.us/img403/2168/img0331sm.jpg
http://img825.imageshack.us/img825/2604/img0335sm.jpg
http://img9.imageshack.us/img9/1594/img0327sm.jpg

Thanks!


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: Bugs on my pepper plant

Hot Banana Pepper, that is.

Here is a link that might be useful: Picture 1


 o
Picture 2

Picture 2

Here is a link that might be useful: Picture 2


 o
Picture 3

Picture 3

Here is a link that might be useful: Picture 3


 o
RE: Bugs on my pepper plant

  • Posted by esox07 4b Wisconsin (My Page) on
    Sun, Apr 22, 12 at 18:34

Holy crap. I would like to say aphids but I dont think that is it. You really do have a serious infestation there. I hope someone can ID those suckers for you so you can deal with them quick.
Bruce


 o
RE: Bugs on my pepper plant

Wow, that's an infestation!

My first thought was the same as Bruce's, aphids.

Then I saw these guys?

Until someone can ID the buggers, I suggest you rinse the plants under running water and then hit any remnants with insecticidal soap ASAP. It won't hurt and it might help.

See link below re. soap

Here is a link that might be useful: Insecticidal Soap


 o
RE: Bugs on my pepper plant

Those look to me like bark lice (Order Psocoptera). If they are, then it would be unusual to find them on a pepper plant. That's what they look like though. If I'm correct, then they won't really do any damage to your plants like aphids do because they have chewing mouthparts, not sucking moutparts. Check the link, and see what you think.

Here is a link that might be useful: Psocoptera facts


 o
RE: Bugs on my pepper plant

I think I'd get rid of the whole thing! Take it far far away!! It isn't worth the chance of them spreading for one plant you bought locally. I'm sure you could replace it locally from somewhere that doesn't have an infestation.


 o
RE: Bugs on my pepper plant

Awesome! Thanks for all of the fast responses. I just got done spraying with an "insecticidal soap." I actually found a very similar recipe that also incorporated some vegetable oil (not sure why). I just sprayed down my plant. The little flies seemed like pushovers...they just stayed on the plant after I sprayed them...so I squished them. A few got away so I sprayed the patio walls and floors to get them. It was so easy I actually felt kind of bad. Last thing I did was lightly spray the soil in case there were any hanging around there.

After spraying, I manually (using my fingers) removed all of the crusty pieces on the stem and nodes. I'm guessing those are the leftovers after maybe changing from a nymph/larva to an adult...like a "leftover skin." Not sure what the official name is. This was also fairly easy.

What was NOT easy to remove were the eggs(?) that are on the underside of the leaves. I tried to remove them manually but I did not want to damage the leaves. I'm hoping the mixture will dry them out, but I will try spraying again in a day or two.

Hope this works. I think I lost 1 or 2 of my 4 pepper flowers due to total infestation on the inside by these little bugs. Hoping the plant produces some more flowers so I can get some peppers.

Based on the link, and on others I Googled for "bark lice", I do not think that's what I have, based upon physical appearance and behavior (how they move). They may be related though...I'll keep reading up. Apparently bark lice are beneficial, so I'd feel bad that I just decimated the community on my plant. :-o

Thanks all.


 o
RE: Bugs on my pepper plants

tsheets....I am considering that. Right now it is fairly isolated...so I wanted to give it a day or two and see what happens. If I am re-infested, this plant may be heading straight for the green waste container...soil and all.

I suppose this is good experience. Obviously, I am a fairly new outdoor gardener. Just graduated from indoor gardening, so have never seen these little beasties before.


 o
RE: Bugs on my pepper plant

  • Posted by esox07 4b Wisconsin (My Page) on
    Sun, Apr 22, 12 at 22:25

I agree that these are not beneficial or even neutral bugs. They have infested your plant for a reason. And when I say "infested", I mean infested.

Yep, I would check all my peppers for these guys and if they are clean, i would get them far away from the infested one(s). You may be able to salvage them and I don't blame you for trying. If the insecticidal soap doesn't get them in a couple days, the you will have to hit them with something a bit more harsh like Sevin bug killer.

Let us know how it goes.
Bruce


 o
RE: Bugs on my pepper plant

Thanks all....will keep you updated.

Still going to try and identify these bugs if at all possible. They look CLOSE, but not exactly like any other post I've seen so far.


 o
RE: Bugs on my pepper plant

There are many types of aphids, everything about these guys scream aphid. The nymphs, the white shedded skins, the adult winged aphids. The eyes on the nymphs are classic aphid. Not sure what variety these are but thats what they are. If I run across which type I will post it.


 o
RE: Bugs on my pepper plant

 o
RE: Bugs on my pepper plant

I was thinking exactly as habjolokia. There are many types of aphids. If you're going to fight them rather than ditching the plant, you will need to drench them with insecticidal soap every 3 days until you're sure they are gone, no more babies hatching, etc.. And keep an eye out for them to show up on other plants around your house. Hopefully, once you get them knocked back nature will keep them in check.


 o
RE: Bugs on my pepper plant

I had to bring my plants in after about 2 weeks because of weather, now Aphids on my plants. I've dealt with green, brown, and red. New to me are blue aphids and to be sure I Googled and sure enough they exist. I will handle as previous years inspect once daily and smash. I don't spray unless it's an infestation, which I have not had to deal with so far.


 o
RE: Bugs on my pepper plant

First line of defense should always be a good spray with a hose. The advice of using Sevin, which is POISON, on peppers is ludicrous. Who the hell would eat peppers doused with that?


 o
RE: Bugs on my pepper plant

I've always kind of wondered what good spraying with a hose does? Sure, it will knock them off the plant you are spraying, but, won't they just make a home on another nearby plant??


 o
RE: Bugs on my pepper plant

I figure spraying with a hose just knocks them off a few feet and just pisses them off. Now, rinsing under a tap and washing them down a drain to swim with the... I'd rather not say, is more gratifying.

If you really don't want to resort to spraying aphids with a non "organic" insecticide, compliment insecticidal soap spray with the wrath of ladybugs.


 o
RE: Bugs on my pepper plant

  • Posted by esox07 4b Wisconsin (My Page) on
    Mon, Apr 23, 12 at 20:42

Buzzsaw8 I guess you don't consider pesticides an alternative even for other people. But you really don't have to slam someone like that for expressing an opinion and offering their advice.
Bruce


 o
RE: Bugs on my pepper plant

Fair enough, I'll amend that to "I think it's a bad idea, especially for a food crop, here's why..."

Carbaryl is a cholinesterase inhibitor and is toxic to humans. It is classified as a likely human carcinogen by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA.)[4]

Here is a link that might be useful: Wikipedia link to Carbaryl AKA Sevin


 o
RE: Bugs on my pepper plant

1) There is no actual proof that it is harmful to humans in the doses you are exposed to during it's use. Yes, its listed as a potential carcinogen. Know what else is listed as a potential carcinogen? French fries. Scratch that, potatoes cooked under high heat (anything fried, like french fries, potato chips, etc) are confirmed to be carcinogenic. So odds are you're far more likely to get cancer from your curly fries than you are using sevin in a responsible manner.

2) One use of insecticide when the plant is young does not forever taint it for the rest of time. You just don't soak the pods down in it and then eat them the next day. It isn't a systemic, 4-7 days and it is completely gone and everything is safe to eat. The plants do not just suck the stuff up and hide it away in their fruit just to try and kill humans in some sort of twisted revenge for trying to save it from being eaten by something else.

3) Really bad infestations typically mean you resort to poisons, or you toss the plant. I put too much time, effort, and money into my plants to just throw them away when one good spray of sevin will save them.

4) The best reason to not use this stuff is because it is a broad spectrum insecticide that will wipe out any invertebrate indiscriminately. It will kill your pollinators and beneficial creatures (like earthworms if you soak the soil in it) right along with the bad ones. One has to be careful not to use it on a plant that is blooming if you have it outside, as you will kill bees and other pollinators.

5) Do your homework. Anything that kills the aphids through anything but pure mechanical means is a poison. Just because something is labeled as "organic" doesn't mean its 100% safe under all circumstances. Do your homework, know what the chemicals you are using do, and what the proper ways to use them are, and you won't have any problems.


 o
RE: Bugs on my pepper plant

  • Posted by esox07 4b Wisconsin (My Page) on
    Mon, Apr 23, 12 at 22:20

Smoking is harmful to humans. Drinking beer is harmful to humans. The only difference is that we don't intentionally ingest Sevin.

I didn't want to be a jerk but just seemed your reaction was a bit terse to begin with.

But buzzsaw, your concerns and rephrasing are well accepted.
Bruce


 o
RE: Bugs on my pepper plant

Wow....my post has generated a lot of discussion....awesome.

So far, so good. Checked on the pepper plant this morning and nothing moving so far. I spent a few more minutes mechanically removing the eggs and skins. I will spray again with the soap/vegetable oil solution. I'm kind of bummed because our hot weather has been replaced with cold, wet weather. I was hoping to dry out the plant (and therefore the eggs) as much as possible.

So far, so good. I'll keep Sevin in mind if I really need it in the future. Until then, it's just a personal preferance that I don't use harsh chemicals if at all possible. I know that's hard for an outdoor gardener to do...but I'll try if it's possible.

Thanks all for your help. With any luck I'll be enjoying some delicious hot banana peppers this summer!

I've learned a ton from this site so far. I'm sure I'll be sticking around


 o
RE: Bugs on my pepper plant

  • Posted by esox07 4b Wisconsin (My Page) on
    Tue, Apr 24, 12 at 9:50

Good, glad to have you natebetween. Good luck with the bugs and let us know how things are in a couple days.
Bruce


 o
RE: Bugs on my pepper plant

I had a bad infestation one year when my wife brought one of her outside plants into the basement under the lights. It was real bad. Dozens of plants got infest in a short time.

We beat it in one shot by filling up a laundry tub full of soapy water, then completely submerging the plants, soil less mix and all under water. I thought she was crazy when she suggested it, but we did that, and washed down the grow area with soapy water, and the problem was solved. Never saw an infestation since. Mind you, I don't allow outside plants in the basement any more.


 o
RE: Bugs on my pepper plant

I had the same problem as hab. I had to bring my seedlings in from outside after time outside due to cooler weather and the chance of hail and tornados. I had a bloom of aphaids too. No natural predators inside to control them. I used a organic natural product we'd used before and it just wasn't working. I too wrestled with using a stronger poison and waited it out. No change. So as I was moving them back out I used a spray bottle and some Sevin. I felt losing 155 young plants was not worth waiting any longer. I sprayed them on a gravel path on a still day. Like you expect with Sevin the little buggers were knocked out. In a week I'll re-check but hopefully with the time outside after being sprayed will be all it takes. I've not had to take such measures before.


 o
RE: Bugs on my pepper plant

Well....I'm hoping I did not get a little overzealous in my cleaning activities. Tonight I brought a bunch of new plants inside since it's going to be cold and very wet tomorrow. I peeked at the pepper to see how it was doing. I am on a 3rd floor balcony. Looking down on the leaves I thought that my leaves were full of holes! :-/ Upon further inspection, I was actually noticing several spots where the leaves had gotten thin and I was seeing the lights from the apts below mine. I don't know if this was as a result from the bugs, or from me lightly scraping all the bugs/carcasses/casings off using my fingernail, which may have allowed some soap to enter into the leave and damage it.

Hmmmm.....hoping I didn't cut off my nose to spite my face here. We'll see what happens. Will post a picture in the next day or two.


 o
RE: Bugs on my pepper plant

some leaf loss will not hurt the plant as much as the bugs will... more leafs and branches will sprout guarantee if fed and watered correctly with right lighting (Cheers)


 o
RE: Bugs on my pepper plant

Yeah, worst case scenario with damaging a few leaves is that it will just grow new ones to replace them. The aphids though would suck the plant dry and kill it.


 o
RE: Bugs on my pepper plant

Nice....good to know. Will post pics soon so you can see the dramatic difference without all the little beasties crawling about.

In other news, all of my other pepper seedlings (Jalapeno, Serrano, habaneros, mini bell) that I moved to the balcony on the other side of the apartment are, thus far, bug free. As are my other seedlings and adult plants. I hope to keep it that way.

Now I'm just worried about the squirrels that can reach our third floor balcony on that side....I hope they don't like pepper, tomato, tarragon, or basil seedlings. :-o I watched them for a while yesterday playing on the balcony railing and they payed no mind to all the little seedlings out there. Let's hope it stays that way.

...Gotta get the management to trim some of these trees leading to our balcony...ha ha.


 o
RE: Bugs on my pepper plant

Quite often when you only get one infected plant, it's because that particular plant is not healthy and sending out stress signals to bugs. Best defense is to keep plants healthy, and they tend to look after themselves.


 o
RE: Bugs on my pepper plant

It's funny. I thought that buying a plant from a big depot store would be worry free. And the 1st plant I purchased likely came pre-infested. I didn't even think of examining it closer, as this is my first go at outdoor container gardening. Luckily the French and Mexican Tarragon I puchased have both been potted up and are thriving, bug free.


 o
RE: Bugs on my pepper plant

I don't think the squirrels will bother the seedlings themselves. But, they might dig around in the pot and/or take a bite or two out of the tomatoes once they fruit. Not sure if they normally eat peppers.


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Hot Pepper Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here