ID

3104-1558

Authors as Published

Eric Day and Alexandra Spring, Department of Entomology, Virginia Tech

Figure 1 Pepper weevil
Fig. 1: Pepper Weevil adult [A N Sparks, Jr., University of Georgia, Bugwood.org

Description

Adult: Black snout beetle, gray or yellow markings, 1/8 inch long. The snout is about half the length of the body. Larva: Grayish white, pale brown head. Larvae are legless and up to 1/4 inch long.

Common Host Plant(s)

Pepper.

Damage

Adults feed on foliage, blossom buds and tender pods. Larvae feed within buds and pods. Large pods are misshapen and discolored. Buds and pods may drop off plants.

Distribution

From Florida and southern Georgia to southern California and recently detected in Virginia Beach by Tom Kuhar and Peter Schultz.

Figure 2 Pepper weevil
Fig. 2: Pepper Weevil larvae inside pepper [D Riley, University of Georgia, Bugwood.org]

Lifecycle

Pepper weevils overwinter in warm climates, such as Florida. Migration north occurs in the spring, either through flying or transport on pepper transplants or market fruit. In the spring pepper weevils are found on solanaceous weed hosts, moving to pepper plants as they are planted in warmer weather. In early summer females bore holes in pepper buds and fruit where they deposit eggs, which they protect with brownish excrement. Over a period of a month a female may lay as many as 200 eggs. Larvae emerge from eggs in about 3-5 days and enter pepper pods. Pepper weevil larvae feed inside the pepper for over a week. Pupation occurs inside peppers in a cell constructed of frass. Beetles emerge in about 4-6 days. The time span from egg to adult beetle is about 2-3 weeks in warm weather, but increases as temperatures drop.

Cultural Control

Remove plants immediately after harvest. Remove nearby nightshade plants.

Organic/Biological Control

No known organic/biological control for pepper weevil at this time.

Chemical Control

Use a registered insecticide to control the pepper weevil.


Virginia Cooperative Extension materials are available for public use, reprint, or citation without further permission, provided the use includes credit to the author and to Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech, and Virginia State University.

Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Virginia State University, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture cooperating. Edwin J. Jones, Director, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg; M. Ray McKinnie, Administrator, 1890 Extension Program, Virginia State University, Petersburg.

Publication Date

April 25, 2011

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