The Q&A Archives: Pepper Plants & Pests

Question: I am trying to determine what is eating the leaves off my pepper plants. Whatever it is cuts the stem of the leaves right at the stalk. I thought I saw a Stink Bug a few inches from 1 of the plants so I sprayed all the plants with liquid Seven to no avail. None of my other veggies ( tomatoes, beans , cucumbers, or corn )are affected.

Answer: Dave,

I am sorry for this delayed reply to your gardening question. The spring rush has brought a deluge of questions and we are working hard to catch up!

Very strange about your pepper leaves. Stink bugs have piercing/sucking mouthparts and are not the cause of eaten foliage. If the leaves are totally gone from the scene you may have leaf cutter ants in the area. You'll have to look around for their trails and large nests in the ground. If the leaves are laying on the ground you may be seeing the work of a nocturnal beetle or caterpillar. Try going out at night with a flashlight to see if you can catch the culprit in the act. When you know what type of insect is responsible we can provide the best, safest remedy.

Thanks for the question. Best wishes for a wonderful gardening season. Please stop in again soon!

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