Pests of pepper seedlings: how to treat and water against aphids, spider mites, white flies and thrips

Biological products, folk remedies, and chemical insecticides will help in the fight against aphids, mites, whiteflies, and thrips on seedlings. Carry out treatments regularly and combine them with preventive measures: disinfect the soil and seeds, monitor temperature and humidity, and do not thicken the seedlings. Then you can get by with safe and harmless spraying. In this article, you will find a description of pests of pepper seedlings with photographs, as well as methods of dealing with uninvited guests. 

Image by Eszter Miller from Pixabay

Why do pests appear on pepper seedlings?

When sweet pepper seedlings grow at home on windowsills or in greenhouse nurseries, they become easy prey for voracious insects – aphids, spider mites, whiteflies, and thrips.

Weak seedlings are primarily tempting and easily accessible to them. Therefore, carefully monitor the lighting, watering the pepper, temperature, and nutrition. When seedlings are comfortable, they grow by established deadlines, have high immunity, and firmly resist the invasion of phytopathogens – diseases and pests.

Reference

Compared to tomatoes and cucumbers, peppers attract less attention from insect pests.

Image by BluBonRelaXon from Pixabay

Aphid

If the leaves of the pepper seedlings curl and become sticky, most likely, aphids have settled on them. This is the most common pest of pepper seedlings. It is more harmful in greenhouses and other shelters, and less harmful in indoor conditions.

Reference

Aphids are a prolific pest: they produce several generations per season, so they are very voracious. Not only larvae but also adults suck out the juice. Under a magnifying glass, you can see small dark, light green, yellowish insects 1.5–2 mm in size. There are more than 30 species in total. Greenhouse or peach aphids are more common on seedlings.

Signs of aphid damage to pepper seedlings

Insects suck out the sap, greatly weakening the plants. Seedlings grow more slowly and often die. You can suspect aphids based on the following symptoms:

  • leaves become terry and curled;
  • a sticky coating appears on top;
  • seedlings stop growing;
  • leaves wither and fall off.

Measures to combat aphids

It is imperative to fight aphids! Both the pest itself and the viral diseases carried by aphids are dangerous.

If there are few insects, try washing them off. It is more convenient to do this when growing pepper seedlings separately in pots or cups. It will be more difficult with boxes. Also, in case of mild damage, it will be enough to spray the seedlings with biological products. Chemistry is used when seedlings are overpopulated by aphids when more gentle biological and traditional methods no longer help.

Mechanical methods
Biological agents
Chemicals
Rinse the insects off under cold running water.
  • Bitoxibacillin
  • Entobacterin
  • Tanrek
  • Akarin
  • Keltan
  • Fury
  • Aktellik
  • Inta-Vir
  • Phosbecide
  • Proteus

Prevention methods

For prevention, it is important to monitor the condition of the soil, carry out disinfection, replace the soil, and change the planting location.

  1. Use disinfected soil.
  2. Do not take soil for seedlings from beds where pests were found last season.
  3. Treat the greenhouse thoroughly before planting seedlings.
  4. Remove plant debris: pests can overwinter in them.
  5. Kill ants that carry aphids.

How to treat pepper seedlings against pests – aphids: list of folk remedies

  1. Soap-oil mash: 1 tbsp. A spoonful of vegetable oil is mixed with 15 g of soap and dissolved in 1 liter of warm water. Treat the seedlings.
  2. Mustard solution: dissolve 200 g of powdered mustard in 5 liters of hot water. Treat the leaves with the cooled solution.
  3. Soap solution: dissolve 200 g of grated laundry or tar soap in 1 liter of warm water. Wipe both sides of each leaf with insects found.
  4. Calendula infusion: 200 g of seeds are infused in 10 liters of water. Spray seedlings or water the soil in pots. To prepare the infusion, you can buy dried calendula (marigold) or tansy flowers at the pharmacy.
  5. Ammonia solution: 1 tsp. Mix pharmaceutical ammonia with 2 liters of water. Process by leaves. If necessary, repeat the procedure several times.

The main pests of pepper seedlings: description and photo of whiteflies

One of the most dangerous greenhouse pests. It often harms tomatoes and eggplants, but with strong whitefly proliferation, it also affects peppers.

Plaque on top and small eggs on the underside of the leaf are a sure sign of a whitefly. The eggs hatch into voracious larvae 0.3 mm long. They suck out the sap, depleting the plants. The larvae leave a sugary secretion in which sooty fungi actively multiply. The leaves become sticky and covered with a black coating, which disrupts photosynthesis processes. Seedlings weaken and may die completely.

Reference

The whitefly is a small fly up to 1.5 mm in length with two pairs of pure white wings. In everyday life, it is called a white fly because of the color of its small wings and a superfly because of its rapid addiction to drugs. It is not easy to combat it: you must use all available means and follow preventive measures.

White fly

What to do with whiteflies on pepper seedlings

First of all, establish the main source of insect reproduction. Often these are indoor plants or recently purchased seedlings. The culprits are often vegetables, herbs, or a gifted bouquet.

As a traditional way to combat whiteflies, try spraying with fragrant herbal infusions. Unfortunately, this process will not have much effect on existing insects, but it can prevent the arrival of “guests”. Process the leaves from all sides, especially carefully from the bottom.

Important!

How to make sticky traps with your own hands? 
You need to stick yellow paper on thick paper or cardboard; small butterfly flies react best to it. Apply a suitable adhesive (e.g. Vaseline) generously to the top. Double-sided tape will also work.

In apartment conditions, it is advisable not to use strong chemicals. This is only permissible in emergency cases, as well as in greenhouses. In case of strong whitefly reproduction and for prevention in the fall, the greenhouse is fumigated with tobacco or sulfur. Use effective biological agents, they are practically harmless and do not cause addiction to the insect. If sooty discharge appears, you should resort to biofungicidal preparations.

Reference

Fitoverm is effective mainly for the sucking stages of the insect and is harmless for oviposition.

Mechanical methods
Biological agents
Folk remedies
Chemicals
  • Hang traps near the seedlings. Shake the plants periodically to disturb the winged pest. This way they stick faster.
  • Try washing off the “parasites” under a strong stream of water.

 

From whitefly :

  • Metarizin
  • Aktofit
  • Fitoverm

From sooty fungus :

  • Fitosporin
  • Alirin
  • Gamair
  • Garlic infusion: infuse 100 g of crushed garlic in 1 liter of water for 4 days. To treat pepper seedlings against pests, use a diluted product: 5 g x 5 l of water
  • Soap solution: a piece of laundry or tar soap is dissolved in warm water, and the solution is strongly foamed. Wipe the leaves attacked by the pest on both sides.
Insecticides :

  • Pyrmethrin
  • Malathion
  • Aktellik
  • Confidor
  • Mospilan
  • Fufanon
  • Karate

Less toxic ones include Aktara and Biotlin.

Active against bacterial and fungal diseases:

  • late blight,
  • rhizoctoniosis,
  • root and basal rot,
  • powdery mildew,
  • molding of seeds, etc.

The drug accelerates growth and strengthens the plant’s immunity.

Prevention methods

  1. When a new indoor plant appears in an apartment, it should be carefully inspected and quarantined away from boxes with seedlings.
  2. Plant plants with a strong smell in the greenhouse: marigolds, calendula, and dill.
  3. Carry out thorough autumn cleaning and disinfection of the greenhouse.
  4. Use only disinfected soil for seedlings.
  5. Mulch the beds to make it difficult for the larvae to enter the soil for the winter.

In recent years, in the Amur region, there has been an outbreak of whitefly activity even in open ground.

Spider mite

It feeds on plant sap and especially likes to attack seedlings with delicate thin skin of leaves and stems. Signs of tick infestation:

  • the plants are entwined with a barely noticeable cobweb;
  • small holes appear on the leaves – punctures;
  • with severe damage, the leaf blades become covered with a marble pattern;
  • Small black insects can be found on the leaves (usually below).

The main route of exposure to seedlings is contaminated soil and a poorly disinfected greenhouse or greenhouse. In hot and dry weather, the pest spreads actively. Temperatures above +25 degrees and low humidity (35–60%) indoors or in greenhouses will be favorable for it.

What to do with pests of pepper seedling leaves

To get rid of ticks you need special acaricides or insecticides. The mite is an arachnid, so insecticides are ineffective against it. Be careful and read the instructions for using the drug so as not to abuse the chemicals. Often the treatment will need to be repeated within a week to completely eradicate the pest. Biological products against ticks are not very effective. If there are a large number of insects, one-time spraying will not get rid of them.

Advice

Be careful when mechanically removing pests from seedlings. Seedlings are very fragile!

Mechanical methods
Biological agents
Chemicals
  • If there are few ticks (only a few), wash them off with a stream of water or crush them with your hands.
  • Set the indoor humidity to 50–60%.
  • Spray regularly with water throughout the week. The tick cannot tolerate moisture.

 

  • Metarizin
  • Akarin
  • Fitoverm
  • Bitoxibacillin
  • Karbofos
  • Ditox
  • Clipper
  • Karate-Zeon
  • Fufanon-Nova
  • Apollo
  • Spark-bio
  • Kleschevit
  • Thiovit-Jet
  • Demitan

Prevention methods

For prevention, monitor the air temperature and humidity, use disinfected soil for growing, and inspect the plants for pests on the top and bottom sides of the leaves.

  1. Use healthy soil and seed.
  2. Monitor the temperature in the room and greenhouse.
  3. Maintain optimal air humidity, avoiding excessive dryness.
  4. Remove weeds.
  5. Wash the greenhouse with disinfectant solutions before sowing seeds or planting seedlings.
  6. Plant marigolds in greenhouse rows.

How to spray pepper seedlings against pests: 4 effective folk remedies

A single use of folk remedies will not be enough to defeat the tick. Repeat treatments once a week. To consolidate the effect, alternate methods and means.

  1. Soap solution: 80 g of soap is grated on a coarse grater and dissolved in 5 liters of warm water. Use 65% or 75% laundry tar soap.
  2. Dandelion infusion: infuse 20–30 g of dandelion herb in 1 liter of water for several days and spray the seedlings.
  3. Infusion of marigolds: infuse half a bucket of marigolds in a bucket of water. Add any soap for adhesion.
  4. Spice infusion: Make an infusion of fragrant spices (such as red pepper) and spray the plants or sprinkle the soil with dry spices.

Reference

Treatments with an alcohol solution – vodka or pharmaceutical alcohol tinctures – are also used.

Thrips – pests of pepper seedlings and their control

Pepper is one of the favorite plants for this pest, which feasts on hairless leaves and sweet juice. Thrips are dangerous in themselves and are carriers of viral diseases. The fight against them is made difficult by their strong vitality, incredible reproduction rate, and fertility.

Signs of pest infestation:

  • “clouds” of small black-winged flies appear above the pots of seedlings;
  • spots and dots form on the leaves, then holes;
  • leaves wither, become deformed, the plant may die;
  • Oviposition is formed on the underside of the leaf, from which larvae quickly hatch.

Important

These pests of pepper seedlings are difficult to notice on the leaves, so the problem becomes obvious only when thrips multiply strongly and the seedlings are damaged.

Thrips get into the apartment with indoor plants and bouquets. They can also be found in contaminated soil; they quickly establish themselves there, especially in the presence of waterlogged soil. They are more common when growing pepper seedlings in a greenhouse, as they prefer high humidity. Dense plantings are another favorable condition for the appearance and reproduction of small black flies.

Image by Alexei from Pixabay

Pest control on pepper seedlings

Start fighting thrips using safe folk methods. Use chemicals only in extreme cases. Try to use less dangerous methods. Prevention measures are the same as when controlling other pests.

Chemicals
Folk remedies
Insecticides :

  • Confidor
  • Vertimek
  • Mospilan
  • Tanrek
  • Spark
  • Aktellik
  • soap solution: dilute a spoonful of green soap, or laundry soap, in 1 liter of water. Wipe the leaves on both sides with a cloth or cotton pad soaked in the solution;
  • marigold infusion: cut the plants into pieces and leave them in boiling water for a day;
  • onion infusion: leave 200 g of onion peel for 4-5 days in a bucket of warm water. Treat one leaf at least three times every 5 days;
  • garlic infusion: pour 150 g of chopped garlic into 1 liter of cold water and leave in an opaque sealed container for 5 days. For spraying, dilute 5–6 g of the prepared stock solution in 1 liter of water;
  • infusions of fragrant plants (chamomile, celandine, tansy, garlic, and others): dilute 100 g of infusion in 1 liter of water and spray on the leaf.

Prevention methods

Prevention measures are the same as when fighting other pests: use proven soil, monitor house plants, normalize temperature and humidity conditions, avoid dense plantings, and follow the rules of agricultural technology.

  1. Use proven soil.
  2. Keep an eye on your house plants.
  3. Normalize temperature and humidity conditions.
  4. Avoid dense plantings.
  5. Follow the rules of agricultural technology.

As you can see, under no circumstances should you leave the growth and development of pepper seedlings to chance. Plants should be regularly inspected, and before sowing seeds, all necessary preventive measures should be taken when preparing the soil and seed material. In this case, you can most likely avoid the appearance of pests on your seedlings.

Lucija The Traveler

I'm a traveler of worlds. Now I have stopped at this world to share my view on this world, how to survive in it through stargazing and by adapting Universe

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