Pepper

Introduction

Pepper (Capsicum annuum, C. chinense; Family Solanaceae) is a warm-season crop requiring 3-4 months of frost-free growing days. It is started from transplants. Bell peppers are the most commonly grown and are usually harvested green. Fruits left to mature on the plant turn red, orange or yellow, and sugar content increases markedly. Other types of sweet and chili (hot or pungent) peppers are usually elongated and tapered. Varieties grown for green peppers take 55-60 days from transplanting to begin producing fruit; colored fruit takes approximately another 20 days to develop. Hot peppers generally become more pungent as they mature or if grown under stress. Check variety descriptions carefully to obtain the proper peppers for your markets.

Types and Varieties

Pepper Varieties
Field Sweet Bell - Green to Red Hot - Ancho/Poblano
Captain - BLS0-10, P Bastan - TMV
King Arthur - BLS2, PVY, ToMV Baron - BLS123
New Ace - TMV Trident - TMV
Nitro S-10 - BLS0-10, TMV, P, TSWV  
Olympus - BLS123 Hot - Anaheim
Paladin - BLS123, P, TMV, TEV Charger - TSWV
X3R Red Knight - BLS123, PVY Numex Joe E. Parker
Sailfish - BLS123, TMV, P  
Tarpon - BLS0-10, P, TMV Hot - Jalapeno
Turnpike - BLS0-5,7-9, P, TMV Evermand - BLS123
  Jalafuego - BLS12378, PVY
Field Sweet Bell - Specialty Colors Jedi - BLS123
Delirio (orange) - TMV, TSWV Orizaba - BLS123
Flavorburst (yellow)  
Islander (purple to red) - TMV Specialty Hot
  Numex Suave Orange (mild orange habanero)
Greenhouse Sweet Bell Hungarian Yellow/Hot Wax
Abay (yellow) - BLS12345  
Brocanto (yellow) - TMV, TSWV Specialty Sweet
Milena (orange) - PVY, TMV, TSWV, TEV Carmen (frying/Italian, red)
Sprinter (red) - TMV Escamillo (frying/Italian, orange)
  Habanada (mild orange habanero)
Resistant or tolerant to: BLS: Bacterial Leaf Spot (races indicated); CMV: Cucumber mosaic virus, P: Phytophthora crown rot, PVY: Potato virus Y, TEV: Tobacco etch virus, TMV: Tobacco mosaic virus, ToMV: Tomato mosaic virus.

Soil Fertility

Apply lime according to soil test results to maintain soil pH at 6.5-6.8. Sidedress nitrogen can also be applied through a drip irrigation system over the course of the remainder of the season. This is particularly advantageous in soils prone to leaching. See Fertigation for more information. Excess nitrogen has been shown to cause excessive vegetative growth and reduce yields. A pre-sidedress nitrate test (PSNT) can advise on the need for sidedress nitrogen. High P starter fertilizer can be used at transplanting, especially with cool soil conditions.

Less nitrogen fertilizer will be needed if legume sod was plowed down or if manure was applied (see Table 1 and Table 7).

PLANT NUTRIENT RECOMMENDATION ACCORDING TO SOIL TEST RESULTS FOR PEPPER
PEPPER NITROGEN (N) LBS PER ACRE PHOSPHORUS (P) LBS P2O5 PER ACRE    POTASSIUM (K) LBS K2O      PER ACRE
SOIL TEST RESULTS   VERY LOW LOW OPTIMUM ABOVE OPTIMUM VERY LOW LOW OPTIMUM ABOVE OPTIMUM
Broadcast/Planter
50
150
100
25-50
0
200
150
50
0
Sidedress 2-3 Weeks after Planting
50
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
Sidedress after First Fruit Set
40
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
TOTAL RECOMMENDED 140 150 100 25-50 0 200 150 50 0

Planting

Growers should produce their own transplants or contract with a reputable local supplier to minimize the potential of importing severe disease and insect problems that are common in other regions. Sow seeds 8 weeks before field transplanting. Peppers are a slow-growing crop and need protection from soil-borne diseases, especially damping-off organisms. Use seed treated with a suitable fungicide or use a biofungicide soil drench (See Table 24, Microbial Disase Control Products).  Avoid over-watering. Avoid contamination from the greenhouse floor by lining it with plastic, growing plants on benches, and hanging watering devices when not in use. Do not permit moisture to remain on seedlings for more than 2-3 hours after watering. This may require adjusting watering rates on cloudy days.

One ounce of seed will produce 3,000-5,000 plants. About 8,000-14,500 plants are required per acre, depending on your choice of spacing in the field. Seeds may be sown thickly in flats and later transferred to 72-cell trays. Peppers thrive under warm conditions; seeds germinate best at 85-90ºF, and seedlings develop well at 75ºF during the day and 65ºF at night. Peppers are susceptible to transplant shock. Reduce temperature and water and increase air movement around the plants to condition them for transplanting. A precaution: overly-hardened plants are slow to recover and yields may be reduced. Plants should be set in the field after the danger of frost is over, and the soil temperature is at least 60ºF.

Field Culture

Peppers are commonly grown on black plastic mulch with drip irrigation in the Northeast. Planting into raised beds, especially in heavy or poorly drained soils, can also help prevent root rot diseases. When transplanting into black plastic mulch, center the transplants in holes to avoid burning stems and damaging or killing seedlings as plastic heats up. For best results, 4-8" tall plants should be transplanted on a cloudy, calm day, preferably in the late afternoon.

Space transplants 12-18 in. apart within rows (67-100 plants per 100 feet of row) and 3-3.5 feet between rows. With double rows on plastic, set each row as far apart as the plastic permits, but remember that plants can tip outward (lodge), bringing fruits in contact with bare soil. This spacing requires 8,300-14,500 plants per acre.   

Some smaller pepper varieties produce spindly seedlings and plants that are not as sturdy as bell peppers and can lodge much more readily. Transplanting the seedling so that the cotyledons are at the soil surface (the root ball will be approximately 2 in. deep) will significantly decrease lodging without adversely affecting yield. 

Peppers may require staking to minimize lodging and sunscald. In each row of plants, drive half a tomato stake (18-24 in. long), 6 in. into the soil between every 4-10 plants. Tie polyethylene strings at 8-16 in. heights as plants grow. Run string from stake to stake; first down one side of the plants, looping and tightening it around each stake, and then back on the opposite side of the plants. Leave a 3 ft. gap in the trellis system every 50-100 ft. to facilitate harvesting. In windy locations, it may be helpful to erect temporary windbreaks such as snow fence. Some growers have found improved production with such windbreaks in place.

Research in the Northeast has shown that pruning peppers is not profitable.

High Tunnel Production

Production of peppers in high tunnels has gained popularity in recent years. High tunnel peppers can produce higher yields than field peppers, and while they deliver less revenue than high tunnel tomatoes, they also require significantly less labor because they do not need to be pruned. Quality of colored bell peppers is often higher in high tunnels than in field production. Similarly to field peppers, high tunnel peppers are grown on black plastic with drip irrigation and are planted in single or double rows, 12-18 in. apart. Some varieties are marketed as being for high tunnel production, but may only reach their full yield potentials with pruning, supplemental heat, and long seasons; field varieties have performed as well or better than high tunnel varieties in high tunnels in university trials. Trellising is a common practice in high tunnel peppers—in this protected environment, one string can be run along each side of a double-row bed, with stakes on either side of the bed (as opposed to running one string along both sides of each row as is common in tomatoes).

Harvest and Storage

Green bell peppers normally are harvested in the green (immature) stage after the fruits have reached full size and the walls are firm and have thickened. Colored bell peppers take several additional weeks to turn color. Harvest the crop twice a week to achieve maximum yields, or every 7-10 days for maximum size. Peppers are picked by a twisting, pulling motion with part of the stem adhering to the fruit. Branches can break easily during harvest. Teaching workers the proper harvest technique can help avoid plant breakage and lodging, and extensive losses due to sunscald.

Peppers can be brushed or washed before packing. If peppers are washed, wash water temperature should be as warm or slightly warmer than that of the peppers. Cold wash water reduces the temperature of the pepper and that of the air inside the fruit cavity. This creates a partial vacuum, which draws some of the wash water (and any bacteria that may be in the water) into the fruit. There are commercial sanitizers registered for use in wash water to help prevent bacterial contamination through infiltration and control postharvest rots.

Containers used are wire-bound crates, cardboard boxes, and bushel baskets. Twenty-four pounds per container is an average weight. The wholesale market prefers large peppers (75 or less in a 1 1/9 bu. box).

Optimal storage conditions are 45-50°F and 85-90% relative humidity. Chilling injury will occur below 45°F, but may not become apparent until the fruit have been brought back to room temperature.

Disease Control

NOTE: For the disease control products listed below, one product trade name and formulation is provided for each active ingredient (common name) as an example of rates, preharvest interval (PHI), restricted entry interval (REI), and special instructions. In many cases, there are other products available with the same active ingredient. Please see Table 25 and Fungicides and Bactericides Alphabetical Listing by Trade Name for more information on products with the same active ingredients.

The symbol OG   indicates a product is listed by the Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI) as approved for use in organic production. See Organic Certification section for more details.

PESTICIDE USE IN GREENHOUSES AND HIGH TUNNELS:

Pesticides can be used on high tunnel and greenhouse crops if: 1) the crop and pest/disease is on the label, AND the products specifically says it can be used in the greenhouse; OR 2) the crop and pest/disease is on the label, AND the product is ‘silent’ about use in the greenhouse in the greenhouse. Products that specifically prohibit greenhouse use cannot be used in greenhouses or high tunnels regardless of the crops or pests/diseases listed on the label.

Management practices that will reduce disease in greenhouses and high tunnels are: the use of resistant varieties, sanitation, fungicides and cultural practices that keep the humidity below 90%.  

See also: Table 19: Fungicides and Bactericides Labeled for Vegetable Bedding Plants.

Anthracnose (Colletotrichum coccodes)

Primarily a pathogen of ripe fruit, anthracnose occurs on fruit that is left on the plant for a long period of time. The disease is most common on red peppers that have a long ripening period. Latent infections can occur on immature fruit. The pathogen can be seedborne and survives in the soil through the production of sclerotia. Rotate away from solanaceous plants for at least 2 years. Start with certified, disease-free seed and transplants. Plant in well-drained fields. Control solanaceous weeds. Some resistant cultivars are available. Apply fungicides preventively where anthracnose has been a problem. See fungicides below.

Anthracnose (Colletotrichum acutatum

Anthracnose caused by Colletotrichum acutatum is relatively new to the pepper industry in the U.S. It is fairly widespread in the southern U.S. and has occurred for consecutive years in several New England states. Unlike C. coccodes, this species attacks fruit of all ages and is very aggressive. During warm and wet weather conditions, significant losses to peppers can occur. Do not plant peppers in the same area following disease for at least 1 year. Remove all diseased plant material from the field. Most peppers are susceptible but North Star and Paladin were the least susceptible in one report. Cabrio has performed better than Quadris for this disease.

azoxystrobin (Quadris): 6.0 to 15.5 fl oz/A; PHI 0d, REI 4h, Group 11. Do not rotate with other Group 11 fungicides.

azoxystrobin plus difenoconazole (Quadris Top): 8.0 to 14.0 fl oz/A; PHI 0d, REI 12h, Groups 11 & 3. 

chlorothalonil (Bravo Weather Stik):  1.5 pt/A; PHI 3d, REI 12h, Group M5.

copper hydroxide (Kocide 3000): 0.75 to 1.25 lb/A; PHI 0d, REI 48h, Group M1. Do not apply in a spray solution having a pH of less than 6.5 or tank mix with Aliette.

cymoxanil plus chlorothalonil (Ariston): 2.0 to 2.44 pt/A; PHI 3d, REI 12h, Groups 27 & M3.

difenaconazole plus benzovindiflupyr (Aprovia Top): 10.5 to 13.5 fl oz/A; PHI 70d, REI 12h, Groups 3 & 7.

famoxadone plus cymoxanil (Tanos): 8.0 to 10.0 oz/A; PHI 3d, REI 12h, Group 11 & 27. Tank mix with an appropriate contact fungicide.

flutriafol (Rhyme): 7.0 fl oz/A; PHI 0d, REI 12h, Group M3.

fluxapyroxad plus propiconazole (Priaxor): 4.0 to 8.0 fl oz/A; PHI 0d, REI 12, Groups 7 & 11.

mancozeb (Dithane F45): 1.2 to 2.4 lb/A; PHI 7d, REI 24h, Group M3.

mancozeb plus copper hydroxide (ManKocide): 2.0 to 3.0 lb/A; PHI 7d, REI 48h, Groups M3 & M1.   

polyoxin D (OSO 5%SC): 3.75 to 13.0 fl oz/A; PHI 0d, REI 4h, Group 19.

pyraclostrobin (Cabrio EG): 8.0 to 12.0 oz/A; PHI 0d, REI 12h, Group 11. Rotate to a non-Group 11 fungicide after 1 application.

tetraconazole (Mettle 125ME): 6.0 to 8.0 fl oz/A; PHI 0d, REI 12h, Group 3. Rotate to a non-Group 3 fungicide after 2 applications.

trifloxystrobin (Flint Extra): 3.0 to 3.8 fl oz/A; PHI 3d, REI 12h, Group 11.

Damping-Off and Seed Decay

Do not allow transplant growing medium to remain wet. Maintain ventilation. Do not use unpasteurized growing media. Keep tools and hose nozzles clean and off of the greenhouse floor. Do not use treated seed for food, feed or oil purposes.

fludioxonil (Maxim 4FS): 0.08 to 0.16 oz/00 lb seed; REI 12h, Group 12. For protection against seedborne and soilborne fungi. Does not control Pythium and Phytophthora.

mefenoxam (Apron XL): 0.085 to 0.64 fl oz/100 lb seed; REI 48h, Group 4. Do not apply a preplant or at plant application of products containing mefenoxam.

propamocarb HCl (Previcur Flex): 1.2 pt/A; PHI 5d, REI 12h, Group 28. Pythium and Phytophthora damping-off. For greenhouse or high tunnel use, see label: apply in evening to avoid intense sunlight after application. Phytotoxicity may occur if applied directly to dry growing media, especially in intense sunlight.

Phytophthora capsici Crown Rot and Blight

Avoid planting into soils that are known to be contaminated with Phytophthora capsiciP. capsici can survive in the soil for many years; a 3-year or longer rotation with plants other than pepper, tomato, eggplant, cucurbits, or legumes may help reduce losses. If planting into infested soils, subsoil to improve drainage, use resistant varieties, and plant on dome-shaped raised beds that will shed water. Break beds to allow water to leave field through lowest paths; do not let water pool or stand around plants. Avoid bringing Phytophthora-contaminated soil into clean or fumigated fields on farm equipment by working in clean fields first and cleaning equipment after working in contaminated fields. Avoid planting low, wet areas with susceptible crops. Do not throw rotting host crops purchased off-farm on fields, or into compost piles for use on fields. Alternating between two or more soil-applied fungicides, beginning at planting, and continuing throughout the season, has been shown to be more effective than foliar applications. Several products are labeled for drench or trickle applications. See label rates and directions.  

For crown and stem rot:

ametoctradin plus dimethomorph (Zampro): 14.0 fl oz/A; PHI 4d, REI 12h, Groups 45 & 40. Labeled for foliar, soil and drip applications. Do not use in greenhouse or high tunnel crops.

Bacillus subtilis Strain Strain QST 713 (Serenade SoilOG): 2.0 to 6.0 qt/A; PHI 0d, REI 4, Group 44. Apply Serenade Soil as an in-furrow spray in 5-15 gallons of water at planting.

cyazofamid (Ranman): 2.75 oz/A; PHI 0d, REI 12h, Group 21.  Labeled for foliar, soil drench or overhead irrigation application.

dimethomorph (Forum): 6.0 oz/A; PHI 0d, REI 12h, Group 40.  Suppression only. Must be applied as a tank mix with another fungicide with a different mode of action. Do not make more than 2 consecutive applications of Forum before alternating to a non-Group 40 fungicide. Do not use in greenhouse or high tunnel crops.

fluopicolide (Presidio): 3.0 to 4.0 fl oz/A; PHI 2d, REI 12h, Group 43. Must be applied in a tank mix with another labeled fungicide with a different mode of action. Labeled for foliar, soil and drip applications. Do not use in greenhouse or high tunnel crops.

mefenoxam (Ridomil Gold SL): 1.0 pt/A; PHI 7d, REI 48h, Group 4.  Apply as banded spray after transplant, see label. Ridomil may cause yellowing of pepper leaves especially if soil applications are made when the soil is dry. See label for plant back restrictions and precautions. Does not control foliar/fruit phase. Resistance is a common problem.

oxathiapiprolin (Orondis Gold 200): 2.4 to 19.2 fl oz/A; PHI 0d, REI 4h, Group 49.  Apply at planting in furrow, in transplant water, or by drip irrigation.

phosphorous acid (ProPhyt): 4.0 pt/100 gal to transplants prior to transplanting, or 5 fl oz/1000 row ft as in-furrow drench at planting; PHI 0d, REI 4, Group 33. 

Streptomyces lydicus strain WYEC (Actinovate AGOG):  3.0 to 12.0 oz/A; Group NC. See label.

For foliar and fruit rot:

famoxaone plus cymoxanil (Tanos): 8.0 to 10.0 oz/A; PHI 3d, REI 12h, Groups 11 & 27. Disease suppression of foliar and fruit phase ONLY.  Rotate with an appropriate fungicide with a different mode of action. Must be tank-mixed with a contact fungicide.

mefenoxam plus copper (Ridomil Gold/Copper): PHI 7d, REI 48h, Groups 4 & M1. Recommended to be used in conjuction with Ridomil Gold SL. See label for rates and restrictions. Do not use in greenhouse or high tunnel crops.

oxathiapiprolin plus mandipropamid (Orondis Gold 200): 5.5 to 8.0 fl oz/A; PHI 0d, REI 4h, Groups 49 & 40.  Begin prio to disease development.

phosphorous acid (ProPhyt): 6.0 pt/A; PHI 0d, REI 4, Group 33.

Streptomyces lydicus strain WYEC (Actinovate AGOG):  3.0 to 12.0 oz/A; Group NC. See label.

Bacterial Canker (Clavibacter michiganense pv. michiganense)

Traditionally a tomato disease, bacterial canker can now also infect peppers and arrives on infected seed.  Damage appears as irregular-shaped brown leaf spots, defoliation, and an occasional tiny, round, brown fruit spot with a white center. Foliar damage resembles bacterial spot or paraquat injury symptoms. Management is similar to methods listed below for bacterial spot.   

Bacterial Leaf Spot (Xanthomonas campestris pv. vesicatoria)

Bacterial leaf spot is one of the most destructive diseases of peppers in New England. There are 11 identified races (0-10). Chemical controls are often ineffective. Effective management requires rotating to fields where solanaceous crops and weeds have not existed for at least 2 years, and growing resistant varieties. Success using resistant varieties requires growing a variety with resistance to the race present in your crop, which requires identifying the race(s) present with lab testing. X10R™ varieties provide intermediate resistance to all strains.  Maintain proper nutrient levels and avoid using dolomitic (high magnesium) lime before planting peppers. Hot-water treat pepper seeds at 122°F for 25 minutes to eliminate seedborne inoculum. Grow your own transplants or contract to have them grown locally. Disinfect used flats, cell-packs, bench tops, machinery, etc. with a 1:9 mix of bleach and water; rinse well with fresh water. Scout fields weekly for plants with small brown leaf spots. Work infected fields last. Do not use high pressure, air-blast sprayers, which cause increased leaf infection in rows adjacent to spray alleys and spread bacterial diseases across rows. Destroy crop residue after harvest to encourage rapid decomposition.

acibenzolar-S-methyl (Actigard 50 WG): 0.33 to 0.75 oz/A; PHI 14d, REI 12 h, Group 21. Do not use on bell peppers. Actigard is a plant activator and should be applied preventatively before disease symptoms are observed.

Bacillus amyloliquefaciens strain D747 (DoubleNickel LCOG ): 0.25 to 3.0 lb/A; PHI 0d, REI 4 h, Group 44. Disease suppression only. For improved control; mix or rotate with a chemical fungicide.

Bacillus mycoides Isolate J (LifeGard LCOG ): 4.5 oz/100 gal water; PHI 0d, REI 4, Group 44.

copper hydroxide (Kocide 3000): 0.75 to 1.25 lb/A; PHI 0d, REI 48h, Group M1. Do not apply in a spray solution having a pH of less than 6.5 or tank mix with Aliette.

mancozeb plus copper hydroxide (ManKocide): 2.0 to 3.0 lb/A; PHI 7d, REI 48h, Groups M3 & M1.

streptomycin (Agri-Mycin 17): 200 ppm (1 lb/100 gal); REI 12h, Group 25. Only for greenouse use on transplants, Streptomycin cannot be used in the field. Apply when the first true leaves appear and continue every 4 to 5 days until field transplanting.

Cucumber Mosaic Virus (CMV)

Many different strains of CMV occur and the host range includes plants in more than 31 different families. In pepper, the symptoms can be confused with Tomato spotted wilt virus (TSWV) as well as other virus diseases. The disease is spread by several species of aphids in a nonpersistent manner, meaning that the virus does not remain in the aphids for a long period of time and insecticides are therefore not useful for CMV control. Reduce weeds, especially chickweed, pokeweed, and milkweeds as much as practical. Isolate pepper fields from cucurbits and Prunus spp. (e.g. cherry trees) which are the overwintering host of the green peach aphid, especially where there has been a history of CMV.

Potato Virus Y (PVY)

Potato Virus Y (PVY) has a worldwide distribution. Three main strains have been described that differ in distribution and symptomatology. Symptoms vary widely with cultivars and virus strain combinations, ranging from mild mosaic to severe foliar necrosis. One strain can cause a symptomless current season infection that leads to next-generation infection. Primary symptoms of PVY include mottling, yellowing, leaf drop, and premature plant death. Early infections can cause stunting and a decrease in fruit set. PVY is a member of the plant virus family Potyviridae, the largest and most significant virus group, and has caused significant losses in agricultural, forage, and horticultural crops. Hosts include solanaceous plants, legumes, and plants in the Chenopodiaceae family (e.g. spinach, chard, beets). PVY is transmitted in a non-persistent manner by more than 25 species of aphids and may also be transmitted mechanically by foliar contact. Long-distance transport is by winged aphids. Insecticides may slow the spread of disease within a crop, but may actually increase insect probing and be counterproductive because only a few seconds of insect feeding is required for virus transmission. Minimize contact disease spread by minimizing mechanical damage during cultivation, spraying, and harvest. Remove virus-infected plants. Resistant cultivars are available.

Tobacco and Tomato Mosaic Virus (TMV, TomMV)

Several strains of TMV exist, including the closely related tomato (TomMV) strain. Symptoms on pepper and tomato can vary considerably as will the severity of disease and the effect on yield. Both strains can be seedborne or transferred from previously infected plant debris, weeds, transplants, other crops, or workers using tobacco products. Unlike other viruses, TMV and TomMV are easily spread from plant to plant by contact with hands and tools. Insects are not considered to be important vectors. Grow resistant varieties. Control weeds as much as practical. Do not plant susceptible peppers or tomatoes for at least two years on land that previously had TMV infected crops. Handle plants as little as possible. Do not allow workers to use tobacco products while working with plants.

Tomato Spotted Wilt Virus (TSWV)

The host range for TSWV is one of the largest of any virus. Hundreds of plant species are susceptible including many commercial floriculture crops. Do not raise tomato, pepper, eggplant, or cauliflower transplants in the same greenhouse as ornamentals. Monitor thrips in the greenhouse and control as necessary. Control greenhouse weeds, as many are hosts to TSWV. 

Insect Control

NOTES:  For the insecticides listed below, one product trade name and formulation is provided for each active ingredient (AI) as an example of rates, preharvest interval (PHI), restricted entry interval (REI), and special instructions. In many cases, there are other products available with the same AI. Please see Table 26 and Insecticides Alphabetical Listing by Trade Name for more information on these insecticides.

The designation (Bee: L, M, or H) indicates a bee toxicity rating of low, moderate, or high. See the Protecting Honeybees and Native Pollinators section for more details.

The symbol * indicates a product is a restricted use pesticide. See Pesticide Safety and Use for more details.

The symbol OG   indicates a product is listed by the Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI) as approved for use in organic production. See Organic Certification section for more details.

Green Peach Aphid (Myzus persicae)

Green peach aphid overwinters in the egg stage on woody plants in the Prunus species (peach, wild cherry, etc.), where nymphs feed in spring. Field vegetable crops are colonized in June by winged females who produce live young (nymphs), resulting in multiple generations of wingless females. Generation time from birth to reproductive adult is 1-2 weeks depending on temperature; each female produces 30-80 live young. If food quality declines, winged females develop and leave in search of new plants. In fall, both male and female winged aphids develop and return to woody plants to mate and lay eggs.

Winged green peach aphids have a black head and thorax and yellow-green abdomen. Wingless adults and nymphs are usually pale yellow-green including the cornicles (a pair of tubes near the tip of the abdomen) but may be pink. Adults reach 2 mm long. Aphids feed on leaves and excrete a sugary, sticky substance called "honeydew" which coats fruit and fosters growth of black sooty mold fungus.

Numerous crop families (including solanaceous crops, cucurbits, brassicas, spinach and chard, and carrot families), as well as broadleaf weeds, support green peach aphid. Feeding on young tissue causes curling, wilting, reduced growth, and contamination of harvested crop by the aphids themselves. The major damage caused by this aphid is the transmission of many different plant viruses. It is also a pest in greenhouses; see Vegetable Bedding Plants and Greenhouse Tomato for greenhouse management.

Aphids are usually controlled on peppers by natural predators and parasites, such as lady beetles, lacewings, spiders, syrphid fly larvae, wasps, and beneficial fungi, unless the populations of these beneficials are disrupted by chemical sprays. Preserve natural enemies by using selective/microbial pesticides for other pests whenever possible. Occasionally green peach aphid or, less commonly, melon aphid and potato aphid populations build up and require controls. Early-season, broad-spectrum sprays will kill beneficials and lead to aphid population buildup.

Begin to examine plants in early July for aphids and the presence of beneficial species. Spray only when aphids are increasing and building up to high numbers. Treat at 5- to 7-day intervals if aphid numbers exceed 10 per leaf before fruit set, and 5 per leaf after fruit set. Coverage of leaf underside is important. Add a spreader-sticker. Plant crops away from Prunus spp. Spray effectiveness may vary depending upon the species present. Reflective plastic mulch repels aphids as long as 50% of the surface area is reflective. Even black plastic mulch has been shown to reduce aphid numbers compared with bare-ground culture.

acephate (Orthene 97): 0.5 lb/A for non-bell types and 0.5 to 1 lb/A for bell types; PHI 7d, REI 24h, Bee: H, Group 1B. Green peach aphid only on bell types; all aphid species on non-bells. Do not use on greenhouse or high tunnel crops.

acetamiprid (Assail 30SG): 2 to 4 oz/A; PHI 7d, REI 12h, Bee: M, Group 4A. Do not use on greenhouse or high tunnel crops.

afidopyropen (Sefina): 3 fl oz/A; PHI 0d, REI 12 h, Bee: L, Group 9D. Do not use on greenhouse or high tunnel crops.

alpha-cypermethrin (Fastac* EC): 3.2 to 3.8 oz/A; PHI 1d, REI 12h, Bee: H, Group 3A.

Chromobacterium subtsugae strain PRAA4-1 (GrandevoOG): 2 to 3 lb/A; PHI 0d, REI 4h, Bee: M, Group UN.

cyantraniliprole (Exirel): 13.5 to 20.5 oz/A; PHI 1d, REI 12h, Bee: H, Group 28. Do not use on greenhouse or high tunnel crops.

cyantraniliprole (Verimark): 6.75 to 13.5 oz/A at planting, 6.75 to 10 oz/A chemigation; PHI 1d, REI 4h, Bee: H, Group 28. For soil applications at planting, drip chemigation, or soil injection. Suppression only. Do not use on greenhouse or high tunnel crops.

dimethoate (Dimethoate 4EC): 0.5 to 0.66 pt/A; PHI 0d, REI 48h, Bee: H, Group 1B. Do not use on greenhouse or high tunnel crops.

dinotefuran (Safari 20SG): 3.5 to 7 oz/100 gal; 7 to 14 oz/A; 0.16 to 0.32 oz/sq ft.; REI 12h, Bee: H, Group 4A. For use on transplants only, while in greenhouse. Not for use on field or greenhouse grown crops.

dinotefuran (Venom): 1 to 4 oz/A foliar or 5 to 7.5 oz/A soil; PHI 1d foliar, PHI 21d soil, REI 12h, Bee: H, Group 4A. For green peach and potato aphids only. Soil application may be as a band during bedding, in-furrow at seeding, transplant or post-seeding drench, sidedress or through drip.

fenpropathrin (Danitol* 2.4EC): 10.66 oz/A; PHI 3d, REI 24, Bee: H, Group 3. Do not apply during bloom or if bees are actively foraging

flonicamid (Beleaf 50SG): 2.8 to 4.28 oz/A; PHI 0d, REI 12, Bee: L, Group 9C. Begin applications before populations begin to build and before damage is evident. Use higher rate for building populations or dense foliage.

flupyradifurone (Sivanto): 7 to 12 oz/A foliar, 21 to 28 oz/A soil; PHI 1d foliar, PHI 45d soil, REI 4h, Bee: L, Group 4D.

gamma-cyhalothrin (Declare*): 1.02 to 1.54 oz/A; PHI 5d, REI 24h, Bee: H, Group 3ASuppression only.

imidacloprid (Admire Pro): 7 to 14 oz/A soil, 1.3 to 2.2 oz/A foliar, 0.44 oz/10,000 plants on seedling transplants in greenhouse; PHI 21d soil, PHI 0d foliar, REI 12h, Bee: H, Group 4A. Planthouse applications only provide short-term protection; an additional field application must be made within 2 weeks following transplanting to provide continuous protection.

insecticidal soap (M-PedeOG): 1.25 to 2.5 oz/gal water; PHI 0d, REI 12h, Bee: L. Spray to wet all infested plant surfaces. May require repeated applications. For enhanced and residual control apply with a companion labeled aphicide.

malathion (Malathion 57 EC): 1.25 to 1.5 pt/A; PHI 3d, REI 12h, Bee: H, Group 1B.

methomyl (Lannate* LV): 1.5 to 3 pt/A; PHI 3d, REI 48h, Bee: H, Group 1A. Green peach aphid only.

oxamyl (Vydate* L): 2 to 4 pt/A; PHI 7d, REI 48h, Bee: H, Group 1A. For foliar and drip chemigation or soil injection applications.

petroleum oil (Suffoil XOG): 1 to 2 gal/100 gal water; PHI 0d, REI 4h, Bee: L. Apply as needed.

pymetrozine (Fulfill): 2.75 oz/A; PHI 0d, REI 12h, Bee: L, Group 9B. Green peach and potato aphids only. Translaminar. Apply when aphids first appear, before populations build up.

pyrethrin (PyGanic EC5.0OG): 4.5 to 17 oz/A; 0.25 to 0.50 oz/gal, 3 gal/1000 sq ft in greenhouse for backpack sprayers; PHI 0d, REI 12h, Bee: M, Group 3A.

sodium tetraborohydrate decahydrate (Prev-AM): 100 oz/100 gal; REI 12h, Bee: L, Group 25. Do not apply in midday sun or mix with copper, sulfur or oils.

spirotetramat (Movento): 4 to 5 oz/A; PHI 1d, REI 24h, Bee: M, Group 23. Must be tank-mixed with a spray adjuvant with spreading and penetrating properties to maximize leaf uptake and sytemicity; don't use sticker adjuvants. Controls immature stages; may also reduce adult fertility. Do not use on greenhouse or high tunnel crops.

sulfoxaflor (Closer SC): 1.5 to 2 oz/A; PHI 1d, REI 12h, Bee: H, Group 4C. Do not apply between 3 d prior to bloom and until after petal fall. Do not use on greenhouse or high tunnel crops, including seedlings grown for transplant.

thiamethoxam (Actara): 2 to 3 oz/A; PHI 0d, REI 12h, Bee: H, Group 4A. Do not use on greenhouse or high tunnel crops.

thiamethoxam (Platinum): 5 to 11 oz/A; PHI 30d, REI 12h, Bee: H, Group 4A. Systemic insecticide used as an in-furrow, banded, drench, or drip irrigation application to the seed/seedling root zone during or after planting/transplanting operations. DO NOT apply as a foliar spray.  Do not use on greenhouse or high tunnel crops.

tolfenpyrad (Torac): 17 to 21 fl oz/A; PHI 1d, REI 12h, Bee: H, Group 21A.

Black Cutworm (Agrotis ipsilon)

Black cutworm is the most common of the many cutworm species that damage vegetables in New England. Adults are night-flying tan and black moths, while the caterpillars are dark-grey to black and up to 2 in. long. Moths from the South arrive between March and June. Eggs are laid mostly on grasses and winter annual weeds. Certain fields tend to have a history of repeated cutworm damage. The larvae feed after dark while hiding under the soil surface adjacent to the plant stem during the day. There are 2-3 generations per year but only the first generation, which produces larvae in May and June, damages seedling peppers. Leaf feeding by small larvae is common and generally unimportant, as plants compensate for leaf area lost as they grow. On rare occasions, sometimes after the soil is saturated, larger larvae switch from leaf feeding to cutting stems off near the soil line.

Ground beetles, parasitic flies and wasps and other general predators help reduce populations. When peppers follow sod/hay in rotation, fall-plowing may lower cutworm populations by reducing spring egg-laying sites. Plantings on plastic mulch experience less cutworm damage, while weedy or reduced-till fields tend to suffer greater damage. Hardening seedlings before transplanting toughens stems and reduces damage.

Adults can be monitored with a yellow and white Unitrap and pheromone lure from March through May. Trapping should begin with the earliest warm nights when daily average temperatures exceed 50ºF. A catch of over 40 moths before transplanting indicates that frequent June scouting is prudent. The first cutworm damage may be expected about 375 degree-days (base 50ºF) after the first early peak of moth activity. Insect development, based on temperatures near your farm, can be monitored online (www.newa.cornell.edu). Scout problem fields once or twice weekly, checking at least 100 plants for leaf feeding and cut stems, especially near field margins. Spot spray heavily damaged areas or edges of the field if 1-2% of the plants have been cut down. For best results, make application between midnight and dawn while cutworms are feeding aboveground.

alpha-cypermethrin (Fastac* EC): 2.2 to 3.8 oz/A; PHI 1d, REI 12h, Bee:H, Group 3A.

bifenthrin (Brigade* 2EC): 2.1 to 6.4 oz/A; PHI 7d, REI 12h, Bee: H, Group 3A.

Burkholderia spp. strain A396 (Venerate XCOG): 1 to 8 qt/A; PHI 0d, REI 4h, Bee: M. Group UN.

carbaryl (10% Sevin Granules): 20 lb/A; PHI 3d, REI 12h, Bee: H, Group 1A. Apply evenly over soil surface.

Chromobacterium subtsugae strain PRAA4-1 (GrandevoOG): 1 to 3 lb/A; PHI 0d, REI 4h, Bee: M. Group UN.

deltamethrin (Delta Gold*): 1.5 to 2.4 oz/A; PHI 1d, REI 12h, Bee: H, Group 3A.

gamma-cyhalothrin (Declare*): 0.77 to 1.28 oz/A; PHI 5d, REI 24h, Bee: H, Group 3A.

lambda-cyhalothrin (Warrior* II): 0.96 to 1.6 oz/A; PHI 5d, REI 24h, Bee: H, Group 3A.

methomyl (Lannate* LV): .75 to 1.5 pt/A; PHI 3d, REI 48h, Bee: H, Group 1A. Variegated cutworm only.

permethrin (Pounce* 25WP): 6.4 to 12.8 oz/A; PHI 3d, REI 12h, Bee: H, Group 3A. Bell peppers only.

spinosad (SeduceOG): 20 to 44 lb/A or 0.5 to1 lb/1000 sq ft.; PHI 1d, REI 4h, Bee: M, Group 5. Spread bait on soil around plants.

tebufenozide (Confirm 2F): 6 to 16 oz/A; PHI 7d, REI 4h, Bee: L, Group 18. Must be ingested. Use lower rate for early season applications to young, small plants. Begin applications when first signs of feeding damage appear. Use higher rate for later season applications and heavier infestations. Use of a spreader-binder adjuvant is recommended.

zeta-cypermethrin (Mustang*): 2.4 to 4.3 oz/A; PHI 1d, REI 12h, Bee: H, Group 3A.

European Corn Borer (Ostrinia nubilalis) and Other Caterpillars

In northern New England, European corn borer (ECB) has a single flight in mid- to late summer and sprays should coincide with this flight. In southern and central New England, ECB has two generations and generally does not become a pest in peppers until the appearance of the second generation in late July or August. Apply insecticides when second generation moths become active. Check state sweet corn IPM reports for flight activity, or use pheromone traps for monitoring adult flight activity. Insect development, based on temperatures near your farm, can be monitored online (www.newa.cornell.edu). Make first application 1 week after moth count equals or exceeds 7 moths per week and fruit are present on the plants. Discontinue sprays 1 week after moth counts drop below 21 moths per week. The spray interval depends on the residual period of the insecticide used as well as weather conditions and pest pressure. Use shorter spray intervals during peak flights and while pheromone trap catches exceed 150 moths per trap. Choose selective/microbial products whenever possible to preserve beneficials and reduce the chance of aphid outbreaks. Pyrethroids may cause aphid outbreaks by eliminating their natural enemies. See Sweet Corn for more details on ECB life cycle.

Foliage-feeding caterpillars such as armyworms and hornworms rarely reach pest status on peppers in New England. Tomato hornworms (Manduca quinquemaculata) or tobacco hornworms (Manduca sexta) occasionally feed in pepper, causing leaf damage and leaving bare stalks in the canopy. Fall armyworms occasionally infest pepper foliage and fruit in August and September when preferred stages of sweet corn (whorl and pre-tassel) are no longer available and pheromone traps capture more than 90 or 100 moths per week.  Most products listed for European corn borer will also control these caterpillars. Orthene will not control fall armyworm. A few products are labeled for armyworms or hornworms only as noted below. 

acephate (Orthene 97): 0.5 to 1 lb/A for cabbage looper and hornworm, 3/4 to 1 lb/A for ECB; PHI 7d, REI 24h, Bee: H, Group 1B. Bell type only. Maintain a 7 to 14-day spray schedule during ECB flight. Will not control fall armyworm.

alpha-cypermethrin (Fastac* EC): 2.2 to 3.8 oz/A; PHI 1d, REI 12h, Bee: H, Group 3A.

Bacillus thuringiensis aizawai (XenTariOG): 0.5 to 1.5 lb/A; PHI 0d, REI 4h, Bee: L, Group 11. Must be ingested; apply in evening or early morning, before larvae are actively feeding. Adherence and weather-fastness will improve with use of an approved spreader-sticker. Use high rate at cool temperatures. For resistance management, may be rotated with Bt kurstaki products (Dipel).

Bacillus thuringiensis kurstaki (Dipel DFOG): 0.5 to 2 lb/A hornworm, 1 to 2 lb/A armyworm, 0.5 to 1 lb/A other caterpillars; PHI 0d, REI 4h, Bee: L, Group 11. Must be ingested; apply in evening or early morning, before larvae are actively feeding. Adherence and weather-fastness will improve with use of an approved spreader-sticker. Use high rate at cool temperatures. For resistance management, may be rotated with Bt aizawai products (XenTari).

beta-cyfluthrin (Baythroid* XL): 1.6 to 2.8 oz/A; PHI 7d, REI 12h, Bee: H, Group 3A.

bifenthrin (Brigade* 2EC): 2.1 to 6.4 oz/A; PHI 7d, REI 12h, Bee: H, Group 3A.

Burkholderia spp. strain A396 (Venerate XCOG): 1 to 8 qt/A; PHI 0d, REI 4h, Bee: M. Group UN.

chlorantraniliprole (Coragen): 3.5 to 7.5 oz/A; PHI 1d, REI 4h, Bee: L, Group 28. May be applied to soil at planting, through chemigation and as a foliar spray. For soil applications, must be applied uniformly in the root zone.

Chromobacterium subtsugae strain PRAA4-1 (GrandevoOG): 1 to 3 lb/A; PHI 0d, REI 4h, Bee: M. Group UN.

cryolite (Prokil Cryolite): 8 to 16 lb/A; PHI 14d, REI 12h, Bee: L, Group UN. For armyworm, cabbage looper, hornworm.

cyantraniliprole (Exirel): 7 to 13.5 oz/A; PHI 1d, REI 12h, Bee: H, Group 28.

cyantraniliprole (Verimark): 6.75 to 13.5 oz/A at planting, 5 to 10 oz/A chemigation; PHI 1d, REI 4h, Bee: H, Group 28. For soil applications at planting, drip chemigation, or soil injection. Rates vary for different species.

cyclaniliprole (Harvanta): 10.9 to 16.4 fl oz/A; PHI 1d, REI 4h, Bee: H, Group 28.

deltamethrin (Delta Gold*): 1.5 to 2.4 oz/A; PHI 1d, REI 12h, Bee: H, Group 3A.

diflubenzuron (Dimilin* 25W): 4 to 8 oz/A; PHI 7d, REI 12h, Bee: L, Group 15. Apply when larvae are small.

emamectin benzoate (Proclaim*): 2.4 to 4.8 oz/A; PHI 7d, REI 12h, Bee: H, Group 6. Apply when larvae are first observed.

esfenvalerate (Asana* XL): 5.8 to 9.6 oz/A; PHI 7d, REI 12h, Bee: H, Group 3A. For control of ECB and suppression of armyworms.

gamma-cyhalothrin (Declare*): 1.02 to 1.54 oz/A; PHI 5d, REI 24h, Bee: H, Group 3A.

indoxacarb (Avaunt): 2.5 to 3.5 oz/A for hornworm, 3.5 oz/A for other caterpillars; PHI 3d, REI 12h, Bee: H, Group 22. Bell peppers only.

lambda-cyhalothrin (Warrior* II): 0.96 to 1.6 oz/A for hornworm, 1.3 to 1.9 oz/A for other caterpillars; PHI 5d, REI 24h, Bee: H, Group 3A. For ECB, apply for control before larvae bore into fruit.

methomyl (Lannate* LV): 1.5 to 3 pt/A; PHI 3d, REI 48h, Bee: H, Group 1A. Use high rate for ECB. Short residual.

methoxyfenozide (Intrepid 2F): 4 to 16 oz/A; PHI 1d, REI 4h, Bee: L, Group 18. Must be ingested, ensure good coverage. Maintain a 7 to 14-day schedule during ECB flight. Use lower rate for early season applications to young, small plants. Begin applications when first signs of feeding damage appear. Use higher rate for later season applications and heavier infestations.

novaluron (Rimon 0.83EC): 9 to 12 oz/A; PHI 1d, REI 12h, Bee: L, Group 16B.

permethrin (Pounce* 25WP): 12.8 oz/A; PHI 3d, REI 12h, Bee: H, Group 3A. Bell peppers only. For cabbage looper and corn earworm only.

pyrethrin (PyGanic EC5.0OG): 4.5 to 17 oz/A; 0.25 to 0.50 oz/gal, 3 gal/1000 sq ft in greenhouse for backpack sprayers; PHI 0d, REI 12h, Bee: M, Group 3A. Maintain a 3 to 4 day spray schedule.

spinetoram (Radiant SC): 5 to 10 oz/A; PHI 1d, REI 4h, Bee: M, Group 5.

spinosad (Entrust SCOG): 3 to 6 oz/A, 4 to 8 oz/A armyworms; PHI 1d, REI 4h, Bee: M, Group 5. Do not apply to seedlings for transplant.

tebufenozide (Confirm 2F): 6 to 16 oz/A; PHI 7d, REI 4h, Bee: L, Group 18. Must be ingested. Maintain a 10 to 14-day schedule during ECB flight. Use lower rate for early season applications to young, small plants. Begin applications when first signs of feeding damage appear. Use higher rate for later season applications and heavier infestations. Use of a spreader-binder adjuvant is recommended.

zeta-cypermethrin (Mustang*): 2.4 to 4.3 oz/A for ECB and hornworm; 3.4 to 4.3 oz/A for fall armyworm; PHI 1d, REI 12h, Bee: H, Group 3A.

Pepper Maggot (Zonosemata electa)

Pepper maggots are found throughout southern New England, including southern NH. Flies have three yellow stripes on back with banded wings. Eggs are laid within the flesh of the fruit, and maggots tunnel into the placenta (seed head) or sidewalls before exiting to drop to the soil to pupate. Exit holes, present in late August or early September, provide entry sites for soft rot bacteria. Monitor fruits of pepper plants adjacent to tree lines for oviposition (egg-laying) scars weekly during July. An oviposition scar appears as a pinpoint white scar in the middle of a shallow, indented area on the surface of the pepper fruit. Scars are particularly obvious on the high-gloss surface of cherry peppers, which can be used as indicator plants if located in outer rows along field margins. Yellow, sticky-traps baited with a vial of 28% ammonium hydroxide may be used to capture adult flies if hung in nearby trees. Traps are most reliable when hung about 20' high, within the canopy of maple trees bordering the field. Make 2-2 applications at 5- to 10-day intervals beginning 1 week after oviposition scars are detected or when the first fly is captured. Avoid sites with horse nettle, which serves as an alternate host. Perimeter trap cropping: spot sprays limited to cherry pepper plants in row(s) surrounding main pepper crop will control this pest and spare beneficials throughout most of the field. Note: Use of selective materials for managing ECB (IGRs, spinosad, or Bacillus thuringiensis) will not control pepper maggots. Use of Orthene at 8 to 10-day intervals for aphids or ECB during mid- to late July and early August will control pepper maggots. The solid spinosad bait, Seduce, has produced mixed results.

alpha-cypermethrin (Fastac* EC): 2.2 to 3.8 oz/A; PHI 1d, REI 12h, Bee:H, Group 3A.

dimethoate (Dimethoate 4EC): 0.5 to 0.66 pt/A; PHI 0d, REI 48h, Bee: H, Group 1B.

malathion (Malathion 57 EC): 2.5 pt/A; PHI 3d, REI 12h, Bee: H, Group 1B.

spinosad (GF-120 NaturalyteOG): 10 to 20 oz/A; PHI 0d, REI 4h, Bee: M, Group 5. Begin applications as soon as monitoring indicates flies are present. Use large droplet size (4 to 6 mm) applied to lower leaf surfaces to optimize length of time bait is attractive. Use with perimeter trap cropping for best efficacy.

zeta-cypermethrin (Mustang*): 2.4 to 4.3 oz/A; PHI 1d, REI 12h, Bee: H, Group 3A. Adults only.

Stink Bugs

See Tomato section for information on stink bugs, including brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB).

beta-cyfluthrin (Baythoid* 2): 1.6 to 2.8 oz/A; PHI 7d, REI 12h, Bee: H, Group 3A.

bifenthrin (Brigade* 2EC): 2.1 to 6.4 oz/A; PHI 7d, REI 12h, Bee: H, Group 3A. Use higher rate for control of Brown Marmorated Stink Bug.

deltamethrin (Delta Gold*): 1.5 to 2.4 oz/A; PHI 1d, REI 12h, Bee: H, Group 3A.

dinotefuran (Venom): 1 to 4 oz/A; PHI 1d, REI 12h, Bee: H, Group 4A. Foliar applications only. For brown, consperse, green, and Southern green stink bugs only. Coverage is essential for adequate control. 

fenpropathrin (Danitol* 2.4EC): 10.66 oz/A for all stink bugs except Brown. 7 to 10.66 oz/A Danitol 2.4EC+ 3 to 4 oz/A Belay for all stink bugs including brown, but this combination should not be applied during bloom or if bees are actively foraging; PHI 3d Danitol alone, PHI 21d Danitol + Belay, REI 24, Bee: H, Group 3.

gamma-cyhalothrin (Declare*): 1.02 to 1.54 oz/A; PHI 5d, REI 24h, Bee: H, Group 3A.

lambda-cyhalothrin (Warrior* II): 1.3 to 1.9 oz/A; PHI 5d, REI 24h, Bee: H, Group 3A.

methomyl (Lannate* LV): 2 to 3 pt/A; PHI 3d, REI 48h, Bee: H, Group 1A. 

novaluron (Rimon 0.83EC): 12 oz/A; PHI 1d, REI 12h, Bee: L, Group 16B.

oxamyl (Vydate L): 1.5 to 3 pints/A foliar. Apply once when insect populations are at threshold and repeat at 5-7 day intervals as needed; PHI 7d, REI 48h, Bee: H, Group 1A.

pyrethrin (PyGanic EC5.0OG): 4.5 to 17 oz/A; 0.25 to 0.50 oz/gal, 3 gal/1000 sq ft in greenhouse for backpack sprayers; PHI 0d, REI 12h, Bee: M, Group 3A.

thiamethoxam (Actara): 3 to 5.5 oz/A; PHI 0d, REI 12h, Bee: H, Group 4A.

zeta-cypermethrin (Mustang*): 2.4 to 4.3 oz/A; PHI 1d, REI 12h, Bee: H, Group 3A. For green and brown stink bugs only. Use higher rate for brown stink bugs.

Thrips and Mites

Thrips and mites are most commonly pests of pepper in greenhouses and high tunnels. Refer to the Transplant Insect and Mite Management section for more information about greenhouse pests, including Table 18 for scouting and biological control guidelines and Table 20 about insecticides labeled for vegetable transplants in the greenhouse. Note that some of the products listed in these tables are only labeled for transplants, not crops to be sold such as greenhouse tomatoes.

abamectin (Agri-Mek* SC): 1.75 to 3.5 oz/A; PHI 7d, REI 12h, Bee: H, Group 6. Must be mixed with a non-ionic wetting, spreading and/or penetrating spray adjuvant; do not use binder or sticker type adjuvant. Do not use on greenhouse or high tunnel crops.

acequinocyl (Kanemite 15SC): 31 oz/A; PHI 1d, REI 12h, Bee: L, Group 20B. Two-spotted spider mite only. Do not use less than 100 gal water/A. Use of an adjuvant or surfactant is prohibited. Do not use on greenhouse or high tunnel crops.

acetamiprid (Assail 30SG): 4 oz/A; PHI 7d, REI 12h, Bee: M, Group 4A. Thrips only. Do not use on greenhouse or high tunnel crops.

alpha-cypermethrin (Fastac* EC): 2.2 to 3.8 oz/A; PHI 1d, REI 12h, Bee: H, Group 3A. Suppression of thrips only.

beta-cyfluthrin (Baythroid* XL): 2.1 to 2.8 oz/A; PHI 7d, REI 12h, Bee: H, Group 3A. Thrips only.

bifenazate (Acramite 50WS): 0.75 to 1 lb/A; PHI 3d, REI 12h, Bee: L, Group 25. Long residual; not systemic, ensure complete coverage of upper and lower leaf surfaces and fruit. Mites only.

bifenthrin (Brigade* 2EC): 2.1 to 6.4 oz/A for thrips, 5.1 to 6.4 oz/A for mites; PHI 7d, REI 12h, Bee: H, Group 3A.

Chenopodium extract (Requiem EC): 2 to 4 qts/A; PHI 0d, REI 4h, Bee: L. Begin application as soon as thrips are seen in the crop. Thrips only.

Chromobacterium subtsugae strain PRAA4-1 (GrandevoOG): 2 to 3 lb/A; PHI 0d, REI 4h, Bee: M, Group UN.

cyantraniliprole (Exirel): 13.5 to 20.5 oz/A; PHI 1d, REI 12h, Bee: H, Group 28. Suppression of thrips only.

cyantraniliprole (Verimark): 10 to 13.5 oz/A at planting, 10 oz/A chemigation; PHI 1d, REI 4h, Bee: H, Group 28. For soil applications at planting, drip chemigation, or soil injection. Do not use on greenhouse or high tunnel crops.

cyclaniliprole (Harvanta): 10.9 to 16.4 fl oz/A; PHI 1d, REI 4h, Bee: H, Group 28. Do not use on greenhouse or high tunnel crops.

deltamethrin (Delta Gold*): 1.5 to 2.4 oz/A; PHI 1d, REI 12h, Bee: H, Group 3A. Thrips only.

dinotefuran (Safari 20SG): 3.5 to 7 oz/100 gal; 7 to 14 oz/A; 0.16 to 0.32 oz/sq ft.; REI 12h, Bee: H, Group 4A. For use on transplants only, while in greenhouse. Not for use on field or greenhouse grown crops. Thrips only. Suppression only.

dinotefuran (Venom): 1 to 4 oz/A foliar or 5 to 7.5 oz/A soil; PHI 1d foliar, PHI 21d soil, REI 12h, Bee: H, Group 4A. Soil application may be as a band during bedding, in-furrow at seeding, transplant or post-seeding drench, sidedress or through drip. Thrips only.

fenpropathrin (Danitol* 2.4EC): 10.66 oz/A. Two-spotted spider mite only; PHI 3d, REI 24, Bee: H, Group 3.

fenpyroximate (Portal XLO): 2 pt/A; PHI 1d, REI 12h, Bee: L, Group 21A. Mites only. Do not use on greenhouse or high tunnel crops.

gamma-cyhalothrin (Declare*): 1.02 to 1.54 oz/A; PHI 5d, REI 24h, Bee: H, Group 3A. Not for Western flower thrips. Suppression only for mites.

insecticidal soap (M-PedeOG): 1.25 to 5 oz/gal water; PHI 0d, REI 12h, Bee: L. Spray to wet all infested plant surfaces. Repeat applications may be needed. For enhanced and residual control apply with a companion labeled insecticide.

kaolin (Surround WPOG): 12.5 to 50 lb/A or 0.125 to 0.5 lb/gal; PHI 0d, REI 4h, Bee: L. May be applied to transplants prior to setting in field. Use on seedlings and young plants. Product residue may need to be washed off if applied after fruit set. White residue may be minimized if applications stop when fruit is 25% of its expected harvest size. Generally compatible as a tank mix with other insecticides. For suppression and repellence of thrips only.

lambda-cyhalothrin (Warrior* II): 1.3 to 1.9 oz/A; PHI 5d, REI 24h, Bee: H, Group 3A. Not for Western flower thrips. Suppression only on mites.

Metarhizium anisopliae Strain F52 (Met 52 EC): 40 to 80 oz/100 gal (drench), 8 to 64 oz/A (foliar); PHI 0d, REI 0h, Bee: L, Group UN.

oxamyl (Vydate* L): 2 to 4 pt/A; PHI 7d, REI 48h, Bee: H, Group 1A. For foliar and drip chemigation or soil injection applications. Thrips only.

petroleum oil (Suffoil XOG): 1 to 2 gal/100 gal water; PHI 0d, REI 4h, Bee: L. Apply as needed.

pyrethrin (PyGanic EC5.0OG): 4.5 to 17 oz/A; 0.25 to 0.50 oz/gal, 3 gal/1000 sq ft in greenhouse for backpack sprayers; PHI 0d, REI 12h, Bee: M, Group 3A.

sodium tetraborohydrate decahydrate (Prev-AM): 50 oz/100 gal; REI 12h, Bee: L, Group 25. Do not apply in midday sun or mix with copper, sulfur or oils. Mites only.

spinetoram (Radiant SC): 6 to 10 oz/A; PHI 1d, REI 4h, Bee: M, Group 5. Efficacy improves with the addition of an adjuvant. Thrips only. Do not use on greenhouse or high tunnel crops.

spinosad (Entrust SCOG): 4 to 8 oz/A; PHI 1d, REI 4h, Bee: M, Group 5. Do not apply to seedlings for transplant. Efficacy improves with the addition of an adjuvant. Thrips only.

spiromesifen (Oberon 2SC): 7 to 8.5 oz/A; PHI 1d, REI 12h, Bee: M, Group 23. Effective on all developmental stages, but juvenile stages more susceptible than adults.

spirotetramat (Movento): 4 to 5 oz/A; PHI 1d, REI 24h, Bee: M, Group 23. Must be tank-mixed with a spray adjuvant with spreading and penetrating properties to maximize leaf uptake and sytemicity; don't use sticker adjuvants. Controls immature stages; may also reduce adult fertility. For control of tomato russet mite and broad mite; suppression of two-spotted spider mite and thrips.

sulfoxaflor (Closer SC): 4.25 to 4.5 oz/A; PHI 1d, REI 12h, Bee: H, Group 4C. Mites only. Suppression only. Do not apply between 3 d prior to bloom and until after petal fall. Do not use on greenhouse or high tunnel crops.

sulfur (Microthiol DisperssOG): 3 to 10 lb/A; REI 24h, Bee: L, No IRAC classification. Mites only.

zeta-cypermethrin (Mustang*): 3.4 to 4.3 oz/A; PHI 1d, REI 12h, Bee: H, Group 3A. Suppression of thrips only.

Whiteflies

See whiteflies in the Tomato section for more information.

acetamiprid (Assail 30SG): 2.5 to 4 oz/A; PHI 7d, REI 12h, Bee: M, Group 4A. Do not use on greenhouse or high tunnel crops.

afidopyropen (Sefina): 14 fl oz/A; PHI 0d, REI 12h, Bee: L, Group 9D. Do not use on greenhouse or high tunnel crops.

alpha-cypermethrin (Fastac* EC): 2.2 to 3.8 oz/A; PHI 1d, REI 12h, Bee: H, Group 3A. Suppression only.

bifenthrin (Brigade* 2EC): 2.1 to 6.4 oz/A; PHI 7d, REI 12h, Bee: H, Group 3A.

Chenopodium extract (Requiem EC): 2 to 3 qts/A; PHI 0d, REI 4h, Bee: L, Group UN. For silverleaf whitefly. Apply before pests reach damaging levels.

Chromobacterium subtsugae strain PRAA4-1 (GrandevoOG): 2 to 3 lb/A; PHI 0d, REI 4h, Bee: M, Group UN.

cyantraniliprole (Exirel): 13.5 to 20.5 oz/A; PHI 1d, REI 12h, Bee: H, Group 28. In greenhouses or high tunnels, for use on pepper plants being grown to harvest only; do not apply to plants grown for transplanting.

cyantraniliprole (Verimark): 6.75 to 13.5 oz/A at planting, 6.75 to 10 oz/A chemigation; PHI 1d, REI 4h, Bee: H, Group 28. For soil applications at planting, drip chemigation, or soil injection. Do not use on greenhouse or high tunnel crops.

dinotefuran (Safari 20SG): 3.5 to 7 oz/100 gal; 7 to 14 oz/A; 0.16 to 0.32 oz/sq ft.; REI 12h, Bee: H, Group 4A. For use on transplants only, while in greenhouse. Not for use on field or greenhouse grown crops.

dinotefuran (Venom ): 1 to 4 dry oz/A foliar or 5 to 7.5 dry oz/A soil; PHI 1d foliar, PHI 21d soil, REI 12h, Bee: H, Group 4A. Soil application may be as a band during bedding, in-furrow at seeding, transplant or post-seeding drench, sidedress or through drip.

fenpyroximate (Portal XLO): 2 pt/A; PHI 1d, REI 12h, Bee: L, Group 21A. Do not use on greenhouse or high tunnel crops.

flonicamid (Beleaf 50SG): 2.8 to 4.28 oz/A; PHI 0d, REI 12, Bee: L, Group 9C. Begin applications before populations begin to build, and before damage is evident. Use higher rate for building populations or dense foliage. For greenhouse whitefly suppression only.

flupyradifurone (Sivanto): 10.5 to 14 oz/A foliar, 21 to 28 oz/A soil; PHI 1d foliar, PHI 45d soil, REI 4h, Bee: L, Group 4D.

gamma-cyhalothrin (Declare*): 1.02 to 1.54 oz/A; PHI 5d, REI 24h, Bee: H, Group 3A. Suppression only.

imidacloprid (Admire Pro): 7 to 14 oz/A soil, 1.3 to 2.2 oz/A foliar, 0.44 oz/10,000 plants on seedling transplants in greenhouse; PHI 21d soil, PHI 0d foliar, REI 12h, Bee: H, Group 4A. Planthouse applications only provide short-term protection; an additional field application must be made within 2 weeks following transplanting to provide continuous protection.

insecticidal soap (M-PedeOG): 1.25 to 2.5 oz/gal water; PHI 0d, REI 12h, Bee: L. Spray to wet all infested plant surfaces. May require repeated applications. For enhanced and residual control apply with a companion labeled insecticide.

Metarhizium anisopliae Strain F52 (Met 52 EC): 40 to 80 oz/100 gal (drench), 8 to 64 oz/A (foliar); PHI 0d, REI 0h, Bee: L, Group UN.

petroleum oil (Suffoil XOG): 1 to 2 gal/100 gal water; PHI 0d, REI 4h, Bee: L. Apply as needed.

pymetrozine (Fulfill): 2.75 oz/A; PHI 0d, REI 12h, Bee: L, Group 9A. Suppression only. Apply when whiteflies first appear.

pyrethrin (PyGanic EC5.0OG): 4.5 to 17 oz/A; 0.25 to 0.50 oz/gal, 3 gal/1000 sq ft in greenhouse for backpack sprayers; PHI 0d, REI 12h, Bee: M, Group 3A.

pyriproxyfen (Knack): 8 to 10 fl oz/A; PHI 1d, REI 24h, Bee: L, Group 7. For control of eggs and immature stages; does not control adults, but hatching of eggs laid by treated adults may be suppressed. Apply when threshold levels are reached. Translaminar.

sodium tetraborohydrate decahydrate (Prev-AM): 100 oz/100 gal; REI 12h, Bee: L, Group 25. Do not apply in midday sun or mix with copper, sulfur or oils.

spiromesifen (Oberon 2SC): 7 to 8.5 oz/A; PHI 1d, REI 12h, Bee: M, Group 23. Most effective on immature stages.

spirotetramat (Movento): 4 to 5 oz/A; PHI 1d, REI 24h, Bee: M, Group 23. Must be tank-mixed with a spray adjuvant with spreading and penetrating properties to maximize leaf uptake and sytemicity; don't use sticker adjuvants. Controls immature stages; may also reduce adult fertility. Do not use on greenhouse or high tunnel crops.

sulfoxaflor (Closer SC): 4.25 to 4.5 oz/A; PHI 1d, REI 12h, Bee: H, Group 4C. Do not apply between 3 d prior to bloom and until after petal fall. Do not use on greenhouse or high tunnel crops.

thiamethoxam (Actara): 3 to 5.5 oz/A; PHI 0d, REI 12h, Bee: H, Group 4A. Do not use on greenhouse or high tunnel crops.

thiamethoxam (Platinum): 5 to 11 oz/A; PHI 30d, REI 12h, Bee: H, Group 4A. Systemic insecticide used as an in-furrow, banded, drench, or drip irrigation application to the seed/seedling root zone during or after planting/transplanting operations. DO NOT apply as a foliar spray.  Do not use on greenhouse or high tunnel crops.

Weed Control

Critical Period and General Information: For optimum growth and highest pepper yields, aim to keep production areas weed-free for the first 8 to 10 weeks after transplanting until pepper plants are large enough to be competitive with weeds.

Hairy galinsoga can be an issue in pepper production fields because this weed is not controlled by most herbicides registered for use in pepper and because it resists cultivation. Stale seed beds can help by encouraging and then killing off the initial flush of germinating galinsoga seeds.  If galinsoga is an issue, rotate to crops where the use of herbicides that are known to control galinsoga are permitted (such as beets where Stinger can be applied, or sweet corn where atrazine herbicides are registered for use) to help reduce the number of short-lived galinsoga seeds in the soil.  

Eliminate small patches of Solanaceous weeds, such as jimsonweed and horsenettle, prior to transplanting peppers because they are in the same plant family as pepper and can serve as alternate hosts and sources for disease and insect pests.

NOTE:  For the herbicides listed below, one product trade name and formulation is provided for each active ingredient along with preharvest interval (PHI), restricted entry interval (REI), resistance management group number, and example of rates and special instructions. In many cases, there are other products available with the same active ingredient. However, not all products with the same active ingredient are registered for use in a crop. Always check the product label to be sure that the crop is listed before using. 

Stale Seedbed

See Stale Seedbed Technique in the Weed Management section.

glyphosate (Roundup Power Max): REI 12h, Group 9.

paraquat (Gramoxone SL 2.0*): restricted use. REI 12h, Group 22. Use 2 – 4 pts/A. Include a nonionic surfactant at 0.25% v/v, or crop oil concentrate/methylated seed oil at 1.0% v/v (1 gal/100 gal) of the finished spray volume for maximum efficacy. May be fatal if swallowed or inhaled. Applicators must complete an EPA-approved paraquat training listed on the following website https://www.epa.gov/pesticide-worker-safety/paraquat-dichloride-training-certified-applicators. The training must be completed a minimum of every three years.

pelargonic acid (Scythe): PHI 1d, REI 12h, Group 17. Use a 3 -10% solution (3 to 10 gallons per 100 gallons).

Herbicides Used Preemergence, before weeds germinate

clomazone (Command 3ME): REI 12h, Group 13. Apply 10.7 to 42.7 fl oz/A to the soil surface prior to seeding or transplanting, or after seeding but prior to crop emergence. Place seed or roots of the transplants below the chemical barrier when planting. Use the lower rate on coarse-textured soil and the higher rate on fine-textured soil. Used for suppression or control of annual grass and broadleaf weeds when applied before weed emergence, including common lambsquarters, velvetleaf, and jimsonweed. Some temporary crop injury (partial whitening of leaf or stem tissue) may be visible after crop emergence. Complete recovery will occur from minor early injury without affecting yield or earliness. See label for rotation restrictions. Do not use on banana peppers.

s-metolachlor (Dual Magnum): REI 12h, Group 15.  MASSACHUSETTS, MAINE, and NEW HAMPSHIRE ONLY. Transplanted bell pepper ONLY. Make sure the label for your state is available for download before using this product. This is a restricted label available only to growers who apply through the website www.syngenta-us.com/labels/indemnified-label-login and agree to a waiver of liability. Main target weeds for this registration are galinsoga and yellow nutsedge.

napropamide (Devrinol 2-XT): REI 12h, Group 0. Apply 2 to 4 qt/A to weed-free soil surface. Use the lower rate on light soil (coarse-textured/sandy) and the higher rate on heavy soil (fine-textured/clay). Incorporate thoroughly with irrigation if adequate rainfall does not occur within 24 hours of application. Can be applied broadcast before transplanting (transplants or direct seeded on bare soil) or as a preplant incorporated under plastic mulch. If soil is dry, irrigate with sufficient water to wet to a depth of 2 to 4” before covering with plastic. Apply plastic over treated soil same day as treatment.  Can be applied at 4 qt/A to weed free soil surface between rows of plastic.

bensulide (Prefar 4E): REI 12h, Group 0.  Apply 5 to 6 qt/A.  Can be preplant incorporated by shallow cultivation (1-2”) or applied preemergence and incorporated by irrigation within 36 hours of application. Grass control only; should be supplemented with cultivation or another registered herbicide for broadleaf control. See label for rotation restrictions.

pendimethalin (Prowl H2O): REI 24h, PHI 70d, Group 3. Apply 1 to 3 pt/A, either as preplant incorporated or to the soil surface PRIOR to transplanting. If applied to the soil surface, excessive treated soil falling into the transplant hole may delay crop growth. Can be used under plastic mulch. Can also be applied as a post-directed spray on the soil at the base of the plant, beneath plants, and between rows. Avoid direct contact with foliage or stems or injury will occur.  Apply before weed germination. Emerged weeds will not be controlled.

trifluralin (Treflan HFP): REI 12h, Group 3. Transplants only. Incorporate 1 to 2 pt/A before transplanting.  Select rate based on soil texture, see label for details.  Must be incorporated into the top 2 to 3 inches of the final seedbed within 24 hours of application.  Disc twice after spraying for satisfactory incorporation. See label for info on incorporation recommendations based on different equipment and single pass incorporation. Little or no control of ragweed, galinsoga, mustard or nutsedge. Poor weed control in soils that are wet or are subject to prolonged periods of flooding.

Herbicides used Pre- and Postemergence

halosulfuron (Sandea): PHI 30d, REI 12h, Group 2. Apply to row middles only.  Apply ½ to 1 oz/A.  Will provide both preemergence and postemergence control of many weed species. Avoid contact of the herbicide and the planted crop. If plastic is used on the planted row, adjust equipment to keep the herbicide off the plastic. Reduce rate and spray volume in proportion to the area actually sprayed. See the label for other precautions and a list of weeds controlled.

Herbicides Used Postemergence, after weeds germinate

carfentrazone (Aim EC): REI 12h, Group 14.  Aim is a burndown herbicide and will injure any foliage it comes into contact with. Apply Aim to areas between rows only with hooded sprayers to control emerged weeds, including crops grown on mulch or plastic.  Prevent any spray from contacting the crop, or injury will occur.  For best results, make application to actively growing weeds up to 4 inches tall and rosettes less than 3 inches across. Good coverage is essential for good control.  Apply up to 2 oz/A per application, and do not exceed a total of 6.1 oz/ per season. 

clethodim (Select Max)PHI 20d, 24hr REI, Group 1.  Will control grass weeds only. Apply to actively growing grasses.  See label for rate selection.  Multiple applications permitted of 9 to 16 oz/A per application, minimum 14-days between applications, not to exceed 64 oz/A per year.  Add 0.25% v:v nonionic surfactant (1 qt per 100 gal of spray).  Can also be used as a spot-spray by mixing 1/3-2/3% (0.44 to 0.85 oz per gallon) Select Max and 0.25% v:v nonionic surfactant (0.33 oz per gallon).  Spray to wet, but do not allow runoff of spray solution.

paraquat (Gramoxone SL 2.0*): REI 12h, Group 22.  For use between rows after crop establishment. For use between rows after crop establishment as shielded application. Apply up to 2 pt/A to emerged weeds between rows when weeds are succulent and weed growth is less than 6”. Include a nonionic surfactant at 0.25% v/v in the spray solution.  Maximum 3 applications per year. Allow 14 days between applications. Use precision directed spray application equipment adjusted to prevent spray contact with crop plants. Crop contact by the spray will cause severe injury or death. Do not exceed 30 psi nozzle pressure or spray under conditions which may cause excessive drift. May be fatal if swallowed or inhaled. Applicators must complete an EPA-approved paraquat training listed on the following website https://www.epa.gov/pesticide-worker-safety/paraquat-dichloride-training.... The training must be completed a minimum of every three years.

pelargonic acid (Scythe):  PHI 1d, REI 12h, Group 17. Use a 3 -10% solution (3 to 10 gallons per 100 gallons). Use a 3 to 5% solution for annual weeds, a 5 to 7% solution for biennial and perennial weeds, and 7 to 10% solution for maximum burndown. Delivery rate for boom applications should be 75 to 200 gals of spray solution per acre; complete coverage of weed foliage is essential. Use a DIRECTED/ SHIELDED SPRAY; contact with crop will cause injury. For hand-held equipment, spray to completely wet all weed foliage but not to the point of runoff. Repeat applications as necessary. Tank mixes are allowed with this product. See label for complete details.

sethoxydim (Poast): PHI 7d, REI 12h, Group 1.  Controls grass weeds only.  Apply to actively growing grasses (see product label for susceptible stage).  Maximum 1.5 pt/A per application, minimum 14-days between applications.  Do not exceed 4.5 pt/A per year. Use with crop oil concentrate (2.0 pt/A) or methylated seed oil (1.5 pt/A).  Note that crop oil can cause injury under hot and humid conditions.  Can also be used as a spot-spray by mixing 1-1.5% (1.3 to 1.9 oz per gallon) Poast and 1% v:v crop oil concentrate (1.3 oz per gallon).  Spray to wet, but do not allow runoff of spray solution.

Physiological Disorders

Sunscald

Sunscald occurs when the pepper fruit receives too much sun. Wide plant spacing and defoliation by bacterial spot may result in sunscald. Breakage of stems by pickers will also open the plant and result in sunscald. Promote good foliage growth with proper fertilization and irrigation during prolonged periods of hot weather. Staking plants can reduce lodging and sunscald.