Ask a Question forum→Brown dust around and on pepper plant leaves

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Fairfax, va
Kilimanj99
Jun 13, 2021 7:15 AM CST
Hello,

Yesterday morning after a bit of rain I noticed this brown sawdust looking stuff on all the pepper plant leaves and soil under the pepper plants.

The plants are in a cedar wood garden bed 10x3 with about 2 feet of soil. The pepper plants are near the center with tomatoe plants on one end and cucumber at the other. None of the other plants have anything on or around them.

I was thinking maybe termite droppings but from Google images it looks like termites make piles, this is just scattered everywhere.

We are in virginia near dc

Any help would be greatly appreciated, thanks in advance

Thumb of 2021-06-13/Kilimanj99/19e2a4


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Port d'Envaux, France (Zone 9a)
A Darwinian gardener
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JBarstool
Jun 13, 2021 7:21 AM CST
Aphids...both living and dead. You can start trying to control them by knocking them off the leaves with a sharp stream of water.
I find myself most amusing.
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
Charter ATP Member Bee Lover Butterflies Birds I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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Weedwhacker
Jun 13, 2021 7:30 AM CST
Welcome to NGA, @Kilimanj99 Smiling

I agree with JB - LOTS of aphids. Don't delay in treating them, they will do a lot of harm to your plants in short order. You might want to use something like insecticidal soap to spray the plants - follow the directions on the product that you use.
“Think occasionally of the suffering of which you spare yourself the sight." ~ Albert Schweitzer /
C/F temp conversion
Fairfax, va
Kilimanj99
Jun 13, 2021 7:43 AM CST
Thank you so much. As soon as we saw this we sprayed and saturated it in neem oil. We've had afids before but they were very white so we weren't sure thats what it was. Watched some videos on getting rid of them and will try the alcohol method today. Thanks again.
Port d'Envaux, France (Zone 9a)
A Darwinian gardener
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JBarstool
Jun 13, 2021 8:03 AM CST
Kilimanj99 said:Thank you so much. As soon as we saw this we sprayed and saturated it in neem oil. We've had afids before but they were very white so we weren't sure thats what it was. Watched some videos on getting rid of them and will try the alcohol method today. Thanks again.


They are a variety of colors. Neem oil ... applied incorrectly can damage your plant foliage. Some people swear by it, some people think Neem oil is this century's version of snake oil, I fall somewhere in between. But I always suggest starting with the least aggressive treatment (which is why I recommended just spraying them off with a jet of water), next would be a mild insecticidal soap. I hope you don't mean you saturated the soil with Neem oil?
I find myself most amusing.
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ElPolloDiablo
Jun 13, 2021 8:08 AM CST
The least aggressive (and cheapest) treatment against aphid is to blast them from plants with a water stream. Just don't use a pressure washer and your plants will do fine.

PS: for the record I am one of those considering neem oil snake oil, so I am a tiny bit biased. Hilarious!
Thus, from the war of nature, from famine and death, the most exalted object which we are capable of conceiving, namely, the production of the higher animals, directly follows. There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved.
-Charles Darwin-
Name: Lynda Horn
Arkansas (Zone 7b)
Eat more tomatoes!
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gardenfish
Jun 13, 2021 8:22 AM CST
Spinosad is a good, organic product which works well on aphids.
Neem oil has its uses, but spraying in the summer in the South means frying the plants! The oil magnifies the sun. Look to another treatment.
Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.
Mother Teresa
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
Charter ATP Member Bee Lover Butterflies Birds I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
Seed Starter Vegetable Grower Greenhouse Region: United States of America Region: Michigan Enjoys or suffers cold winters
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Weedwhacker
Jun 13, 2021 7:24 PM CST
I've never used Neem oil myself - but it seems there are an awful lot of reports of plant damage from it Sad

I agree with spraying with water - a few years back I had some pepper plants in my greenhouse that I was only watering at the base, not wetting the plants down at all - and those plants got badly infested with aphids. I think I used a general "bug dust" product on them, and after that gave them a good spraying whenever I watered, and the aphids didn't return.
“Think occasionally of the suffering of which you spare yourself the sight." ~ Albert Schweitzer /
C/F temp conversion
Fairfax, va
Kilimanj99
Jun 14, 2021 5:05 PM CST
We removed the pepper plants from the shared enclosure, hosed them down with water, and replanted in separate pots. Will leave them quarantined just to make sure there clear and the other plants haven't gotten them yet. We created a 3 to 1 Water to isopropyl alcohol spray mix. If this doesn't work we'll mist the leaves and soil once a week to see if that helps. We also setup an outdoor fan to get more of a breeze, hopefully that will help too.
Name: Lynda Horn
Arkansas (Zone 7b)
Eat more tomatoes!
Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Container Gardener Lilies Cat Lover Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Zinnias
Organic Gardener Heirlooms Bee Lover Hummingbirder Echinacea Tomato Heads
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gardenfish
Jun 15, 2021 12:29 AM CST
I don't think the alcohol treatment will work on aphids. That treatment is primarily used for mealy bugs.
For severe aphid infestations, plain water doesn't work, either. You need to ramp up your treatment with insecticidal soap or a similar item. Well, you will soon find out, because aphids reproduce at a very fast rate.
Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.
Mother Teresa
Fairfax, va
Kilimanj99
Jun 17, 2021 3:50 PM CST
Three days later looks pretty good. The water spraying looks like it did the trick. If we dont start to see them elsewhere we'll put the x-infested pepper plants back in the main garden Smiling Thanks everyone!
Name: Lynda Horn
Arkansas (Zone 7b)
Eat more tomatoes!
Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Container Gardener Lilies Cat Lover Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Zinnias
Organic Gardener Heirlooms Bee Lover Hummingbirder Echinacea Tomato Heads
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gardenfish
Jun 18, 2021 1:10 AM CST
Great! Hurray!
Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.
Mother Teresa

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