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If you have aphids on pepper plants then it’s time to get on the offense. In other words, aphids anywhere near your garden is not a good thing.
Aphids are small, soft-bodied insects that feed on plant sap. They can cause stunted growth and distorted leaves in susceptible plants.
Aphids are really troublesome on peppers, where they can cause large numbers of young bugs to develop and a loss of crop yield.
There are several ways to control aphids, including using insecticidal soap or spraying the plants with a water soluble aphid control product.
There are literally hundreds of types of aphids. From green peach aphid to apple aphid, tobacco aphid, and citrus aphid which are some of the most common, this is an insect that is common around the world.
They suck the juices from leaves and flowers and can quickly reduce a plant’s size and vigor. If you see signs of an infestation some of the treatments include insecticidal soap or a horticultural oil.
Why Do Aphids Appear On Pepper Plants?
There are several reasons why aphids might be attracted to pepper plants. Pepper plants produce a lot of sap, which aphids find attractive.
The plants also have a high sugar content, which aphids like to eat. Pepper plants may also be more susceptible to aphid infestations because they are grown in warm climates.
The time to be mostly cautious is when you are planting seedlings and when young plants are producing new leaves.
Aphids seem to prefer the fresh round leaves rather than the older leaf growth. Once they get a sniff of what they like, they will swarm in their thousands.
Did you know that they multiply extremely fast. It’s no wonder considering that this is a species that when born is capable of hitting the ground running. Many are born pregnant.
That makes it hard for gardeners to keep on top of this problem but with a little careful planning and commonsense, aphids can be dispatched as quickly as they appear.
How Can You Tell There Are Aphids On Your Pepper Plants?
There are different ways you’ll discover aphids on pepper plants. The most common way of course is you’ll just stumble upon them when you least expect to see them.
Aphids are very small and to be honest, they are difficult to detect.
I watched my parents use a couple of methods very successfully growing up. One of them was always done oil the morning. Its when the sun was on it’s way up and bright.
We lived in an extremely sunny part of the world where rainfall was scant. We had six to eight inches on average a year.
But back to identifying if you have pesky aphids invading your garden.
My parents would hold the leaves of the pepper plants up to the sub and look for tiny dark spots.
The sun would shine on the leaves and illuminate them to a degree. Spotting the aphids was easy. I actually was entrusted with this role at a very young age. I thought it was fun. Go figure.
Another way to suspect aphids are at play is when you noticed usually straight leaves starting to curl. This is a sure sign that they might be present.
Pepper plants produce flowers which aphids love to infest. Checking the flower buds for damage regularly will alert you to whether they are present.
Finally, have you noticed and abundance of ants in your pepper patch? There’s a good chance that they are there thanks to the good work of the aphids.
Aphids excrete a sweet matter called honeydew which ants just love. Once ants infest your garden, the problems just multiply.
So now you have an aphid problem and an ant problem. But don’t fear, we can prevent this from happening.
How To Get Rid Of Aphids On Pepper Plants
So in a sense, prevent or get rid of the aphids on pepper plants and a lot of the other problems just go away.
The good news is that aphids are relatively easy to get rid of. So don’t worry too much about performing this task.
The most common sense way of stopping an aphid infestation in your garden is to be on guard and check for them several times a day.
While that sounds excessive, you should be doing this, especially in the early stages of your pepper plants growth phase.
Aphids love the fresh new leaves and will swarm to them in droves. And don’t forget, doing this daily is important because remember above when I said that aphids can be born pregnant and “hit the ground running”? Just miss one day of checking your plants and you could end up with an infestation.
So what do you do during this checking phase if you find just a few aphids? I used to love this part as a kid. My parents simply squashed them. Yes, it doesn’t sound too humane but it’s them or your pepper plants right?
More Ways To Get Rid Of Aphids On Pepper Plants
Prevention is the number one way to stop aphids from swarming your pepper plants. Water is another.
Water will be your best friend if aphids suddenly appear in numbers. Again, this was something I was entrusted with and I accepted this task with glee.
There are a couple off ways you can use water to get rid of aphids. One is to simply spray the plants with a garden hose.
You’ll want to have a little pressure coming through your hose but just point and squirt them off.
Another method for those of you growing pepper plants in pots is to simply hold them under a tap, either in your sink or outside and just wash the aphids off the plant.
While aphids love to suck the life out of their preferred leaf targets, they don’t stick to them all that well and simply hitting them with a little running water will be sufficient to knock them off your plants.
Using Pesticides To Get Rid Of Aphids
You can buy these solutions readymade or you can mix it up yourself.
If you are inexperienced, buy it but be sure to check the labels that the soap especially doesn’t contain unnatural substances such as added fragrances.
Another popular method to prevent aphids from invading your pepper plants is to use Neem oil.
This is a naturally occurring substance which is safe to use. I’ve never like using pesticides on my produce but have found Neem oil to be effective.
Ask your local garden rep to give you a demo on how to use it. It’s actually quite simple. Just read the instructions and you will be good to go.
One thing about Neem oil is you will need to use it regularly. But again, your local garden rep can help you further if you have little experience using pesticides.
Finally, using other insects as a way to keep the aphid population down. Ladybugs for example love to feast on aphids.
I’ve never been a big fan of this because it can be hit or miss.
I’d rather see this happen naturally without forcing it. Many gardeners will grow other plants that attract insects like ladybugs. These include Anjelica, Cilantro, Marigold, Calendula and Dill.
My issue with this is what other insects can you attract to your garden? It’s somewhat of an issue but if you are vigilant and use the prevention method and check your plants regularly during the early growth phase, you may never need to explore the other options.
To prevent aphids on pepper plants, check your plants and check them often.