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Garden Pest Control

Q.What Is Eating My Pepper And Eggplants

Zone Wild Rose central Wisconsin | nikkibob1994 added on June 12, 2024 | Answered

My garden is fully fenced , peppers and eggplants grown from seed in my greenhouse. First whatever it is snipped all the leaves off my eggplants but didn’t eat the leaves and then ate the stems themselves the next night, leveled the the plants to the ground. Now whatever it is is working on my pepper plants. I thought cut worms at first and used diatomaceous earth and seven powder but didn’t stop this destruction.

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Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on June 12, 2024

This is definitely cutworm damage, but I notice something else as well. I see what looks like the beginning of spider mite damage. These are teeny tiny and most people overlook them because of it. This causes a quick decline, which makes for the perfect host for cutworms. Damage can be confirmed by seeing some of the stems cut at a very precise angle, which is common for cutworms, paired with small spotting on some of the leaves for spider mites. I would expect to see some slight webbing under the leaves.

Leveling to the ground is really only common for younger plants, but cutworms can be responsible. I would compound treatments, and keep using them until you see no more signs of pest. Both can be quite a chore to get rid of and keep away from you garden. I would use plenty of neem oil or its extract, azadirachtin, to kill and keep both at bay. This should be done on occasion to prevent any future issues.

My favorite treatment for cutworms, above all, will be Bt. Bacillus thuringiensis is a hungry bacteria that will feed on caterpillars, effectively controlling them through infection. This bacteria is completely harmless to humans, so there is no worry of toxicity or poisoning.




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