Gardening Articles: Care :: Pests & Problems
Insect Control on Peppers
by National Gardening Association Editors
Some folks prefer using homemade remedies for insect control instaed of chemical ones. Homemade bug chasers include a soapy water solution for aphids and a chili powder and water mixture for other pests. If you find small groups of insects starting to chew on your plants, pick off the bugs before they do too much harm. Keep your garden clean of debris, so that insects won't have a place to reproduce. If they've already laid their eggs, it doesn't matter if you've cleaned or not; lack of debris, though, helps against those pests that winter over.
Although home remedies are usually effective, for some insect problems you may need to turn to commercially available controls. Be extremely careful when using commercial insecticides.
Here are some things to keep in mind when controlling insects in the garden:
Some chemical products, including Sevin, are harmful to bees. If you use them, do so near evening after the bees are done gathering for the day. Decreased bee activity will reduce pollination and fruit set in your garden.
Check the label on any commercial product to find out if there's a waiting period between use and harvest. Read the label three times: when you buy the product, when you use it and when you carefully put it away.
Pay attention to the timing and the life cycle of the insect you're dealing with. If you catch the problem early -- before the adults have laid eggs and hundreds or thousands of new insects emerge -- you'll need less of the chemical product and there'll be less insect damage to your crops.
Pesticides come under a safety review on a regular basis, so check with your county extension agent or co-operative extension specialist located at the land-grant college in your state about the latest commercially available controls that are safe and effective for home garden use. The pesticide recommendations in this book are based on the most up-to-date information available, but be aware that they are subject to change because of safety reviews.