Peppers

Check for the Following Pests or their Damage: Harvest

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Sample fruit to determine the effectiveness of your pest management program and cultural practices.

Click on photos to enlarge.
Misshapen, bumpy, and discolored fruit
Discolored and distorted chili pepper fruit.

Cucumovirus mosaic diseases.

Identification tip:

Infected chilies are distorted with a bumpy surface.

Misshapen green bell pepper.

Pepper weevil damage.

Identification tip:

Pepper weevil feeding can cause fruit to be misshapen.

Fruit (left) is misshapen because of poor pollination.

Poor pollination.

Identification tip:

Poor pollination can result in short or lopsided fruit.

Discolored, distorted, pepper fruit with a bumpy surface.

Potyvirus mosaic diseases.

Identification tip:

Fruit may be misshapen and have a bumpy surface. It can be difficult to distinguish between fruit with cucumovirus mosaic diseases from those with potyviruses.

Discolored and bumpy red bell pepper.

Tomato spotted wilt virus symptoms.

Identification tip:

Fruit may be discolored at ripening.

 
Spotting, necrotic, or water-soaked areas
Dry sunken, decayed areas near the blossom end of pepper fruit caused by calcium deficiency (blossom end rot).

Blossom end rot.

Identification tip:

Caused by low calcium levels in the fruit, tissue near the blossom end breaks down leaving a characteristic dry, sunken lesion. May be mistaken for damage caused by sunburn or nitrogen toxicity.

Sunken, dry brown patches on pepper fruit resulting from nitrogen toxicity.

Nitrogen burn.

Identification tip:

Damage from high levels of nitrogen can cause sunken lesions similar to those of sunburn and blossom end rot.

Water-soaked patches on bell pepper fruit characterstic of a Phytophthora capsici infection.

Phytophthora infected fruit.

Identification tip:

Fungal spores from crown and root rot can splash on fruit and cause it to decay. Symptoms include water-soaked patches that dry up and form lesions.

Stink bug feeding on peppers results in discolored spots on the fruit surface as well as corky areas just below the skin.

Stink bug damage.

Identification tip:

On green and red fruit, damage appears as dark pinpricks, surrounded by a light discolored area. Cutting into the discolored area reveals tissue that has a bleached, cottony appearance.

Sunburned bell pepper with a necrotic spot.

Sunburn damage.

Identification tip:

Sunburn may cause necrotic areas on fruit directly exposed to sunlight. May be mistaken for blossom end rot or nitrogen burn. Loss of foliage caused by various diseases can lead to sunburned fruit.

Distorted and spotted jalapeno fruit infected with Tomato spotted wilt virus (left) compared with healthy fruit (right).

Tomato spotted wilt virus symptoms.

Identification tip:

Infected fruit may have mosaic patterns or spots.

Feeding holes
Mature beet armyworm larva found feeding inside a pepper fruit.

Beet armyworm damage.

Identification tip:

Feeding is quite messy with webbing and frass.

Bird feeding damage to a pepper fruit.

Bird damage.

Identification tip:

Bird feeding holes lead to decaying of the fruit.

Pepper weevil grubs are off-white with a brown head and feed in the core of pepper pod.

Pepper weevil larva damage.

Identification tip:

Larvae feed within the fruit, usually at the seed core and fill the fruit with frass.

Distorted and spotted jalapeno fruit infected with Tomato spotted wilt virus (left) compared with healthy fruit (right).

Tomato fruitworm damage.

Identification tip:

The larvae burrow into the fruit and feed on the seed core or flesh depositing frass. Infested fruit decay.

   

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Statewide IPM Program, Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California
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