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Pepper plants are easy to grow, but unfortunately, there are many pepper pests and diseases you may encounter in your garden which could result in plants dying or stunting growth.
So, being prepared to face whatever issues come your way is important for any gardener, especially if you hope to eat your crop.
In this article, we will enlighten you on what pests and diseases you are bound to encounter and helpful solutions on how to stop them.
6 Jalapeno Pepper Plant Pests
Below are the common pests that usually attack the jalapeno pepper plants that you should know.
1. Colorado Potato Beetle
These pests don’t only infect potato plants, they also love to eat pepper plants as well.
They feed on the foliage and there are severe infections that usually defoliate the plants.
The adult potato beetles can be identified easily if seen in the garden since they have specific features: they are black with yellow stripes, and the larvae are red with blackheads.
The adult potato beetle usually emerges in the spring. So you must handpick the adult beetle, as well as the larvae from the plant if you spot it in your garden or farm.
If the beetle has eaten deep into your plant or dominated your farm, the best treatment that you can give is to apply Bacillus thuringiensis to your garden frequently.
Applying, it helps to control the larvae and also heal the plants.
2. Pepper Weevil
This type of pest enjoys feeding on the foliage of a pepper plant most especially the buds, and the young fruits.
The larvae feed on the fruits thereby causing the fruits to become abnormally discolored.
These pests usually reproduce quickly each year. So there is a need for you to kill all of them to avoid them from regenerating.
So for you to get rid of this pest, you have to start by removing the infected plants and making sure that you also remove any dropped fruits on the soil surface.
Do well to also spray an insecticide that contains Pyrethrin which is very effective in getting rid of pepper weevil.
Cutworms are pests that are known to generally attack all types of plants.
It targets plant seedlings and chews through the base of the young plants as well as the leaves almost overnight.
It is also a nocturnal pest that can easily be seen if it is seen in your garden, you can pick it up with your hand.
To avoid this pest, you have to rake the soil around the base of your plant. Doing so will help to expose the pest which you can pick with your hand.
You can also sprinkle coffee grounds, eggshells, and diatomaceous earth on the plant which will help to stop the pest from attacking or eating the plant.
You should also make a collar around your plants with aluminum foil or cardboard to stop cutworms from eating the stem of your plants.
4. Flea Beetles
Flea beetles are known to be a pest that loves pepper plants. It is one of the most common pepper plant pests. When it infects a plant, it causes small holes or pits in the leaves, thereby making the leaves look like a piece of swiss cheese.
Also, young plants and seedlings aren’t left out in facing this damage. It will stunt the growth of the plants. Mature plants are less vulnerable to flea beetles.
So, to tackle this problem in time. You should put a floating row cover over the vulnerable plants. By putting the cover on your garden beds immediately after you plant your new seedlings, they will be able to grow healthy before the beetle tries to feast on them.
If your plant has been already infected, then you should do these few things such as:
Firstly, you need to get a diatomaceous earth and apply it effectively on your plants alongside a neem oil.
You can also use an insecticide that contains carbaryl, spinosad, bifenthrin, and permethrin if you aren’t an organic gardener.
These are small, soft-bodied insects that like to stick to the underside of the leaves and the stems of plants.
It has different colors ranging from green, yellow, red, pink, black or brown.
They like to suck out the sap from the plants while they are secreting a sticky substance which is called honeydew which is attracted to ants and sooty mold.
To get rid of this infestation from the aphid, you need to cut out part of the plant that was attacked by the Aphid and apply neem oil to it as well as spray it on leaves or any fruit that is grooming.
You can also get rid of the pest by sparking water on the plants in order to wash it away.
There are other types of worms as well as caterpillar pests that we haven’t looked through that attacks the pepper plant such as:
A. The Tobacco Hornworm:
It’s a pepper caterpillar that is green in color and has a red anal horn.
The pepper caterpillar will munch on both the fruit and the leaves of your pepper plant.
You will notice that it is in the plant when you see open scars on the pepper themselves.
B. Another pest is the Pepper Grubs. It eats at the roots of the pepper plant and prevents the plant from absorbing the nutrients it needs from the soil thereby causing smaller peppers as well as other plants not to.
C. Beet Armyworm
Armyworm is another pest that can damage your pepper plants. This pepper worm is about one-third the size of the pepper caterpillar.
It can be green or black though it is a larva.
It damages the buds and also the young leaves on the pepper plant which in return will prevent any good peppers from forming.
5 Diseases Of The Jalapeno Pepper Plants
Below are the common diseases that a jalapeno pepper plant usually suffer from.
1. Pepper Leaf Spot
This is a common bacterial infection that is mostly common during the rainy, humid, warm climates.
These bacteria are attracted by these weather conditions. They spread from the plant to another plant easily through touch, seeds, and soil.
You will know that your plant must have gotten this disease when you start noticing yellow or green spots on the leaves that change to brown spots.
As it progresses, you will start noticing further symptoms such as rise, corky spots on the peppers, and also from nowhere it will start decaying.
So to avoid this plant disease, you must ensure you remove all pepper plants infected with pepper leaf spots; the bacteria spreads too easily to keep these plants in your garden.
Then, try spraying with a natural fungicide. Even though the leaf spot is bacterial, fungal treatments have been helpful for this infection.
2. Phytophthora Blight
Phytophthora blight is a soil-borne plant disease that typically spreads when water splashes the soil onto the foliage. Most people are familiar with early and late blight; this is similar but not the same thing.
A few of the symptoms that Phytophthora blight causes are large, brown leaf spots that lead to wilting leaves. The stems turn brown or black at the base of the plant, or the roots rot, leading to the plant’s death. The fruits also rot when they come in contact with infected soil.
Unfortunately, like early and late blight, there are no effective treatments for Phytophthora blight. The best steps are to use preventative measures like planting your pepper plants in raised garden beds or containers to improve drainage. It’s also essential not to overwater your garden.
3. Mosaic Virus
Mosaic virus is a viral infection of plants, and once your plant is infected, there is nothing you can do to get rid of it. This viral disease spreads either through the seeds, the soil, or sap-sucking insects like aphids.
Several symptoms indicate the mosaic virus. You might notice green and yellow mottled leaves and overall stunted growth of the plant.
This virus lowers pepper production, and it causes a bumpy surface on the peppers that form.
Once infected, no treatment will help your plants.
So, the best thing to do is remove the pepper plants from your garden and burn them to stop the spread. Instead, gardeners recommend that you focus on pest-preventative measures, like keeping pests at bay, to hopefully avoid this viral infection.
Anthracnose is a fungal infection that affects most vegetable plants and causes massive crop damage if left untreated.
It causes circular lesions to form on the fruits; these lesions have tan, orange, or black rings in the center.
Gradually, the lesions enlarge, sometimes covering the entire fruit, and you might notice lesions on the leaves.
Dealing with anthracnose is tricky at times. Starting by planting disease-free seeds and rotating crops is one of the best ways to prevent this disease.
5. Verticillium Wilt
Verticillium wilt is a bacterial infection that affects pepper plants and other vegetable plants, and it damages entire crops if not caught early enough. It’s most common throughout the southeastern United States.
This bacteria blocks the plant’s vascular tissue, making it impossible to send water and nutrients up the stem to the rest of the plant.
The symptoms tend to start on one side of the plant first; you’ll notice wilting and discoloration start on one side and gradually extend to the other side. As the bacteria grow, it leads to the entire collapse and death of the plant.
Always remove infected plants and destroy them immediately. Adding beneficial bacteria to the soil is one way to help treat verticillium wilt, but this devastating disease is hard to control.
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1. What Can I Spray On My Jalapeno Plant For Bugs?
All you need is water, dishwashing soap, and a spray bottle.
Place the water and soap in the spray bottle and shake well.
Then gently spray the underside of stems and leaves where aphids love to hide.
Reapply the solution every 2-3 days for two weeks.
2. How Do You Keep Bugs From Eating Jalapenos?
You can prevent them by adding yellow sticky traps to your plants to help catch insects that hatch from your potting mix or find their way indoors.
Some people use these on outdoor plants as well, but I choose not to because it’s possible to kill beneficial insects.
3. What Can I Spray In My Plants To Keep Bugs Away?
Once they’re gone for the moment, it is recommended that you spray the plants with homemade insecticidal soap.
A great recipe for homemade bug spray for vegetable plants is to use one tablespoon of dish soap, one cup of vegetable oil, one quart of water, and one cup of rubbing alcohol.
4. Can You Spray Neem Oil On Jalapeno Plants?
Spraying neem oil under intense sunlight will put your pepper plants at risk of burning.
So, if there are small areas you can’t reach with the spray bottle, you can go over them gently with a Q-Tip.
You can also use a soft toothbrush to gently brush delicate leaves.
5. Can You Spray Vinegar On Jalapeno Pepper Plants For Bugs?
Vinegar is an effective natural bug killer for plants.
To male it:
Just dilute it 1:1 with water in a spray bottle and spray it over and under the leaves of affected plants.
You can also use it around the house to deter bugs inside; the vinegary smell will quickly dissipate.
We hope that this article was helpful in enlightening you on the basic Informations that you should know concerning jalapeno pepper pests, diseases and how to prevent them when being faced with.
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