The Q&A Archives: Peppers Rotting

Question: I don`t know if pepper weevils or pepper maggots are causing the peppers to rot and fall off the plants. While the peppers are green there is no problem, but when I leave them to ripen and turn either yellow or red it seem to me that some insect burrows a tiny hole on the bottom and enters the fruit. What kind of insect is it and what means can I take to prevent this from happening again next year.

Answer: It sounds like pepper maggots. If there is a tiny hole and a small, white worm inside the pepper, it is a pepper maggot. The adult fly lays eggs on the fruit in midsummer. When the eggs hatch, the larvae (worm) enter the fruit. For control, Charlie Nardozzi recommends in "Vegetable Gardening for Dummies" to cover young plants with row covers, use reflective aluminum foil mulch to confuse the flies, and use yellow sticky traps to catch the adults before they lay their eggs. I hope this helps!

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