The Q&A Archives: Bugs on Pepper Plant

Question: I have a hot pepper plant growing inside on my west-facing window sill. It gets the afteroon sun from about 2p.m.-8p.m. The stem is growing very tall and the leaves are getting huge. The other day while watering the plant, I noticed little cream colored oval shaped bugs that look like tiny cream colored seeds in clusters all over the uppermost leaves of the plant. Please tell me what these bugs may be. I think they are aphids if so please tell me how to get rid of these pests. I would like to use an organic method/natural method to get rid of them if possible. I have not seen any damage to the plant yet,but I am sure it is coming;and do these pests spread to other plants I have many potted herbs sitting next to the pepper plant. Also,please, give complete care instructions for growing hot pepper plants.

Thank you,
J. Davis-N.IL

Answer: Aphids are sucking insects and can damage small plants in a hurry. Aphids are also very prolific so you need to get them out of your windowsill garden as quickly as possible. It might be wise to isolate your pepper plant so the pests don't spread to your herbs. Since the infestation is small, you should be able to control the aphids by squishing them as you rub them off the leaves of your peppers. Or, take the containers out to the driveway and hose the aphids off with a strong stream of water from the hose. When you're sure they're bug-free, take the plants back into the house.

Pepper plants need all day sunshine and warm temperatures to flower and produce peppers. You may need to take your pepper plant outdoors so it can bask in the sunlight and have insects visit the flowers for proper pollination. If you keep your pepper plant indoors it may not flower. If it does flower, you'll need to transfer pollen from flower to flower just as flying insect would do.

Best wishes with your windowsill garden!

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