What’s Eating Your Pepper Plants

Pepper Plants

Is the growth of your pepper plants being stunted because there is a mysterious entity that’s eating the leaves and other parts of the plant? Here are the most common pests that like to eat pepper plants. Find out how to deal with these pests.

Thrips and Spider Mites

Despite being barely visible to the naked eye, these tiny insects can deal a huge amount of damage on pepper plants. The spider mites, for example, are mostly found on the underside of the pepper plant leaves. They will disrupt the plant’s growth by attacking the individual plant cells and preventing the plant from photosynthesizing properly.

Spider mites will also lay hundreds of tiny eggs that will hatch in a short space of time. It’s important to get rid of these tiny insects before their population starts to multiply. There are a few ways you can get rid of these pests on your pepper plants. You could, for example, utilize natural predators like beneficial insects or gently dunk the plant in a bucket of water to drown them.

Caterpillars like Hornworms

Caterpillars like tomato hornworms are also likely culprits. They are easily noticeable due to their large, green body shape. They also tend to leave a lot of damage behind by eating huge chunks of the pepper plant leaves.

Unfortunately, people who have phobias of bugs won’t like to hear this but the best way to get rid of hornworms on pepper plants is to pick them off by hand. For large scale problems, you could consider attracting natural predators of hornworms such as birds and beneficial parasitic wasps.

Slugs and Snails

Slugs and snails also love to eat pepper plants. They are also more likely to be active at night so the damages on your pepper plants could be more noticeable in the morning. Aside from the large, irregular holes they leave behind, you may also notice a trail of slime along the leaves and branches of the pepper plant.

There are a number of non-toxic solutions to get rid of slugs and snails on pepper plants. You could, for example, set up simple beer traps next to the base of the pepper plant, or sprinkle some food-grade diatomaceous earth once the condition is dry.