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What Bug Is Eating the Leaves of My Pepper Plants?

baby Jalapeno chilli pepper plants in nature image by Elena Moiseeva from

Bugs will make a meal out of pepper leaves just like other bugs will go after the peppers themselves. Healthy leaves are important to the overall health of the plant. Most of the insects will not do severe damage, but a heavy infestation all eating at the same time, no matter what insect it is, is something you want to avoid.


Several bugs will make a meal out of the pepper plant leaves. Cutworms will go after the leaves when the plant is still a seedling and can do the most damage. Armyworms, fruitworms, flea beetles, hornworms and whiteflies also think of pepper plant leaves as a meal.


Keep the area around the garden free from low lying brush that insects could winter over in. Look for varieties that are resistant to insects and diseases. Plant the seedlings in a raised bed after the soil temperature is 55 degrees Fahrenheit.


Hornworms are large and can be picked off by hand. For the other bugs, spray the leaves with soapy water. A heavy infestation will require the use of pesticides. Check with your local cooperative extension or county agent about what is legal in your area.

Stop Bugs From Eating Pepper Plants

The dreaded aphid is only one of several leaf-eating insects that can take over your pepper plants and destroy your vision of an abundant pepper harvest. Dealing with chewing insects is one of the most difficult aspects of raising pepper plants, however there are a number of safe methods for getting rid of these insects and keeping your pepper plants healthy and thriving. Maintenance is generally required with any type of insect removal to prevent the insects from returning. Measure the vegetable oil, garlic and hot sauce, and mix in a small bowl. Pour mixture into a spray bottle. Concentrate the spray on the underside of the leaves, where chewing insects often appear. Repeat weekly or as necessary. Store any unused mixture in a sealed container in your refrigerator for later use.

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