Something Is Eating My Pepper Plants


July 20, 2010

Something is eating my bell pepper plants over night. It has not touched my tomatoes, squash, jalapenos, or cucumbers. I also have pictures of the poop it left under the plant.


Hardiness Zone: 7a

By KIM from Suffolk, VA


July 21, 20102 found this helpful
Best Answer

Is this a trick question? There is a picture of a tomato worm on the plant. It is being eaten by a tomato worm, just pick it off! Check your plants daily for these worms, you will notice little black pellets (poo) on the leaves below the caterpillar.

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4 More Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

I have a bunch of pepper plants and something is eating the leaves of off. I can never find the culprit, I think it happens at night because I never see any bugs or worms on my plants, I have tomato plants right next to the pepper plants and they are untouched.

What could be doing this, I was thinking slugs and snails? So I put out a bowl of beer last night and found only two in the bowl this afternoon.


June 13, 20171 found this helpful
Best Answer

Slugs and snails will leave a "trail" but it is always a good place to start. We grow all kinds of peppers and sometimes it is very difficult to find what bug is causing the damage.
We use 2 things in our garden to try and keep down the bug colonies.
The first is Diatomaceous Earth (food grade only) and this can be sprinkled everywhere - on the plants - on top of the soil and it will kill a lot of different bugs. The problem is that water (rain even) will wash it away from your plants and it may have to be reapplied another day. This has not been a problem as we try to time if for nice weather and after watering (usually late evening). In case you are not familiar with Diatomaceous Earth I have listed a web site that tells all the uses (indoors and outdoors). Diatomaceous Earth (DE) can be bought on-line or Lowe's or most plant or farm stores.

The 2nd thing we use Turmeric and this is very effective against many common garden bugs. We use this in a spray (2 Tbs to a quart of water).

It will take some constant watching and doctoring to remove these pests. I believe you may have flea beetles but I cannot name all the bugs so maybe one of these web sites will be of help. Most pepper plants can be treated in the same manner.

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June 15, 20170 found this helpful
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Judy is correct about using Insecticidal soap which I had forgotten because I generally try to use home stuff first. I do have a link that we use to make our own soap but you will need to purchase some Castile soap to make this. (If none of this works you might want to to try Neem oil/spray. None of the mentioned remedies are toxic so they are safe to use on edible plants.)

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September 26, 2019

I have a young banana pepper plant growing in a pot on a patio garden. However, almost all the leaves have some damage from something (I am guessing a pets/insect of some sort). My other plants, including a tomato, are unaffected.

I have treated it with the recommended pest control, but I am wondering if I should prune the damaged leaves/stems or leave them alone. I appreciate any advice.
Thank you.


September 27, 20190 found this helpful

You can try to prune it back and see how it goes. When we grew these in the garden one year we had this issue from under watering...little rain that season and the human in charge (me) forgetting to water.

Ours did not come back...but since this one is in a pot and a more controlled situation, perhaps you can bring it back.

Post back with updates!

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September 27, 20190 found this helpful

This may sound a little scary, to make this plant healthy. You will need to take a clean pair of scissors and cut just below the Y section of your plant in a angle, this gives better water run off and free the plant of disease,Or if you want to take baby steps, snip off the new growth of the plant.Then water with sun!(You can snip off the eaten leaves after this plant is healthy and you see more thickness/growth.Good Luck

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September 27, 20190 found this helpful

First off something is eating the leaves of the plant. You can start off with a very mild laundry soap that is safe for the environment. You will add just a small amunt to a spray bottle and fill the rest with water. Spray the top and bottom of the leaves. Do this every few days. You need to be careful right now to not cut too much of the pant back and allow it to get some new growth. I would trim some of the most damaged leaves off the plant. When the plant grows up a bit more you can start to cut the plant back and allow it to get fuller and grow taller. There are some good videos on YouTube talking about different types of pepper plants and how to trim them to promote growth.

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September 27, 20190 found this helpful

Dead and damaged plant parts should be removed.

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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

July 20, 2010

Something is eating the leaves off my hot peppers in my garden. What could it be?

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May 18, 2010

What is eating the leaves of my pepper plants? It seems to happen overnight and the leaves seem to be taken as if with a scalpel.

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