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What Is Eating My Pepper Plants? (8 Possible Culprits)

What Is Eating My Pepper Plants? (8 Possible Culprits)

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You might be one of the many people who love taking care of pepper plants. Growing your own peppers can be very satisfying, and it’s going to be great to harvest peppers that can be utilized as ingredients in your favorite dishes.

It isn’t so fun when you come out to your garden in the morning and find that your pepper plants have been eaten. There are actually quite a few different things that could be happening if you find that your pepper plants are being eaten in your garden.

What is eating your pepper plants and what can you do to stop this from happening? Keep reading to get all of the important information so that you can safely grow pepper plants moving forward.

1 – Aphids

Aphids could be eating your pepper plants

Aphids are common pests that will eat plants in your garden, and they seem to be attracted to pepper plants. It’s kind of annoying to find aphids because they’re difficult to spot with the naked eye.

Sadly, these insects can cause a lot of damage to pepper plants over time. You’re going to want to treat your plants so that they can survive if aphids are indeed the problem.

2 – Caterpillars

Caterpillars could be eating your pepper plants

Caterpillars could also be eating your pepper plants because they are attracted to them. It’s even possible that a caterpillar could devour an entire pepper plant in just one night.

If you’ve come out to your garden and discovered that a significant chunk of your pepper plant has been eaten, then it’s possible that a caterpillar is to blame. You might be able to determine that a caterpillar is the culprit by recognizing the droppings that caterpillars leave behind on leaves.

3 – Whiteflies

Whiteflies can be very problematic for pepper plants because they will significantly damage them. Sometimes whiteflies will invade gardens, and you’ll need to treat your garden with the right pesticide to get rid of them.

Try shaking your pepper plant to see if anything flies away from the plant. If something does fly off of the plant, then it’s likely that you have an issue with whiteflies that will need to be dealt with.

4 – Red Spider Mites

Red spider mites love to eat pepper plant leaves and could be the cause of what is happening in your garden. They’re very tiny insects that can be tough to spot, but you can find them with some effort.

If you notice any tiny red insects on your plants, then you’ll have your answer about what is going on. It isn’t overly difficult to get rid of spider mites so long as you have the right pesticide to use.

5 – Pepper Hornworms

Pepper hornworms are common pests that will eat your pepper plants. These are a type of moth larvae that you won’t notice too easily.

During the daytime, they will hide under leaves and try to stay out of sight. They come out at night to feast on the pepper plants.

6 – Thrips

Thrips are another tiny insect that likes to eat pepper plants. They usually eat the pepper plant flowers, but they aren’t all that bad overall.

If you think that thrips are the problem in your garden, then you’ll be glad to hear that they’re easy to control. That doesn’t mean that you should leave these pests to their own devices, though.

7 – Pepper Weevils

Pepper weevils could be eating your pepper plants

These small insects have very hard bodies and will commonly eat pepper plants. The weevils will feast on pepper plants when they’re in larvae form, but they’ll also eat the plants as adults.

The larvae are actually more problematic since they cause more damage to your pepper plants. You’ll want to try to get rid of pepper weevils as soon as you can.

8 – Snails or Slugs

Both snails and slugs will eat pepper plant leaves. Luckily, you’re going to be able to spot these pests because of the trail that they leave behind.

You can easily remove snails and slugs from your garden, but it might be good to try to deter them from coming back, too. They aren’t as annoying as many of the other pests mentioned here, but you’ll still want to remain vigilant.

How to Keep Pests at Bay

There are some things that you can do to try to keep pests at bay. One of the options is to use various types of insecticides to get rid of pests.

Many people do this, but some don’t like it because it might cause harm to beneficial insects in the area. You don’t necessarily have to do this if you want to use other methods.

You could spray something such as Bacillus thuringiensis on your pepper plants. This is a type of bacterial control that can prevent pest infestation, and it works wonders.

Best of all, it’s safe to use around both humans and pets so you won’t have to worry about harming anyone. Another good thing to do is going to be to keep your garden area very clean and tidy.

If you take the time to weed your garden area, then pests will have fewer places where they can hang out. You should also make an effort to mow your lawn regularly to keep the grass from getting too tall.

Planting your pepper plants in smart spots will keep them more protected as well. For example, you can plant the pepper plants away from other plants that might attract certain pests.

Protecting the stems of your pepper plants might be a good safety precaution to take, too. Some pepper plant enthusiasts choose to protect pepper plant stems with cardboard so that pests won’t be able to get to them.

So long as you do your best and take common-sense precautions, it’s going to be possible to keep your pepper plants safe. You now know which pests are most likely to eat your pepper plants, and you’ll be able to deal with everything in a timely fashion.

It’s probably better to turn to solutions outside of using insecticides or pesticides first, but you can make that call. You just don’t want to kill off beneficial insects that help the various plants in your garden.