Ugly bell peppers

Asked September 17, 2019, 1:36 PM EDT

All the bell peppers on one of my plants have brown discoloration (see picks). What is it, how do I cure it or prevent it next year?

Howard County Maryland vegetables pest insects and mites

1 Response

Hi- the fruit russeting symptom is consistent with either broad mite feeding or cyclamen mite feeding. These mites have a broad host range and feed on foliage and fruits. They are considered greenhouse pests and cannot overwinter outdoors, especially if host plants are pulled up and removed from the garden. They may have blown into your garden or come in on greenhouse-grown transplants.

These are not uncommon pests but most vegetable gardeners never see the pest or symptoms. They are extremely small so monitoring for them requires patience and a hand lens. If you were to detect them on foliage next year you could apply horticultural oil or insecticidal soap for control.