You’re growing your pepper plant successfully and see some fruits sprouting out… Awesome! But wait, what do you see? Holes on your pepper leaves?
This may indicate that something’s chewing holes in your pepper plant leaves! Seeing holes in plant leaves is normal, but it begs you to wonder, “what is eating holes in my pepper plant leaves?”
Read on as I show you the common pests that bite into your plant leaves and some quick tips to remedy it.
What Is Eating Holes In My Pepper Plant Leaves?
No one likes seeing pests that provide NO benefits to your pepper plants! But what are the most common pests that dig into your leaves and peppers? These are the common pepper plant bugs that love feeding on the plants, from the leaves down to its fruit:
These are probably the worst pests of pepper plant leaves, targeting seedlings. They would often chew the plant’s base and cut it down completely, also chewing on the leaves and causing the holes!
If you see any plant damage that looks like a cutworm has done it, then you can get rid of it by heading out to your garden at night. With a source of light for visibility, look around your garden and plants, picking these cutworms off.
You can also try to rake the soil that surrounds your plants’ bases during the daytime. This can show large and curled up cutworms, which you can simply pick up and throw away.
Discourage these pests from coming back by sprinkling eggshells or used coffee grounds around your plants’ bases.
Slugs are a common problem when there’s a ton of moisture or during rains. But since peppers require a dry environment and only require watering when the soil dries up, slugs don’t flourish as much.
However, you can’t avoid seeing one or two around the plant base, trying to reach lower leaves to feast on!
If you see slugs around your plants, you can control it by simply handpicking them. Or, you can place a wood board in your garden and pick the climbing slugs up during the late morning. You can also check underneath the wooden board, where they usually are.
After plucking them out, place them in soapy water or squish them. I prefer moving them to a far area rather than kill them that way!
Grasshoppers tend to chew on pepper plants, especially their leaves and fruit. To keep grasshoppers away and control the population, attract a lot of birds to your garden. Birds LOVE grasshoppers and would eat a ton of them every day.
Place a birdbath and refill it with fresh water daily, or hang a birdhouse, plant flowers, or other shrubberies that attract birds. These will encourage birds to come over and do their form of pest control.
It’s a healthier and more natural way to control the grasshopper population and lessen pests from eating your pepper leaves. They don’t only consume grasshoppers, but other pests that invade your plants, too. Better than using chemical pesticides, unless the pest problem is very serious!
Aphids are usually not a huge problem for pepper plants, though you may find these soft-bodied pests around its leaves and stems. Not only do they cause holes on your pepper leaves, but it can also cause the leaves to darken and look sooty!
They are quite irritating, but also very easy to get rid of. Simply spray aphids off with water every day, which dislodges them. It will also wash off any sooty material on the leaves that aphids have caused.
If only one plant is greatly affected, it’s best to sacrifice that plant to prevent aphid from spreading to other plants! Or, you can attract beneficial bugs that feast on aphids such as overflies, ladybugs, or lacewings. You can do this by planting flowers that attract these bugs, which will feast on aphids.
5. Flea Beetles
Flea beetles may attack younger seedlings and are most likely to eat a ton of tiny holes to its leaves! During the summer and as plants grow bigger, flea beetles tend to go away on its own. That’s why I don’t worry much about them and let nature run its course.
To avoid flea beetles attacking my pepper leaves, I would plant pepper leaves later in the seasons after the flea beetle population dwindles.
If you see flea beetles around your younger plants, use basil and catnip around the plant base, which repels them away. Or, you can plant radishes or nasturtium in other areas of your garden, as flea beetles are more attracted to them. It will draw flea beetles away from your pepper plants!
6. Getting Rid Of These Pests
If you see any holes on your pepper plant leaves, not to worry. Unless there are discolorations or all the leaves have fallen, it’s a normal occurrence. A few holes on pepper leaves won’t hurt the harvest, it just means there are a few bugs around.
I don’t recommend that you use pesticides, as this can alter plant growth and your harvest. It can also poison animals that feast on the pests, causing even more pest problems in the long run. Instead, I’d rather create natural pesticides or let nature do its job and attract beneficial bugs.
Do you want to learn more about the common pepper plant pests and how to get rid of them? Here is an informative video to show you how:
Wrapping It Up
Fortunately, pepper plants aren’t as prone to pests compared to other vegetables. However, there may be problems with insect damage, causing holes on pepper plant leaves! Not to worry though, as it’s completely fixable with the right remedies and pest control.
I hope that this article answers your question, “what is eating holes in my pepper plant leaves?” Now that you know the answer, start getting rid of these pesky pests that cause holes on your pepper plant leaves now!