Major Pests in Capsicum and its Preventative Measures

Major pests in capsicum and its preventative measures
Major pests in Capsicum and its preventative measures

This blog carries detailed information about the major pests hindering capsicum production and the best ways to control them.

One of the most significant commercial spice crops, capsicum, often known as “Bell pepper” or “Shimla Mirch,” generates substantial foreign exchange for the nation. On a surface of 9.08 lakh hectares, India produces roughly 10.70 lakh tonnes of capsicum.

The invasion of a wide variety of insect pests at various crop stages is one of the challenges in capsicum production. Prioritising the detection and timely treatment of capsicum pests is necessary.

The major pests of capsicum are 

Pest Symptoms Control
Thrips Leaves curl upward and shed.
Buds fall 
Light brown scars on fruits.
Water the seedlings.
Avoid growing combined crops of onions and chillies.
Aphids Excretion of honeydew.
Leaves and pods turn black.
Use sticky traps.
Use neem extract and polythene sheets.
White flyYellowing of the leaf tissue.
The growth of sooty mould. 
Bud and boll shedding. 
Apply Pyriproxyfen to seeds.
Use sticky traps.
Use neem extract and polythene sheets.

Thrips

Thrips are tiny insects that can be problematic during dry and hot weather seasons. Both adults and nymphs suck the sap from newly emerging leaves. Affected leaves shrink in size, curl upward along the margin, and become crinkled. Additionally, they consume fruit and floral components.

Thrips in capsicum
Thrips in capsicum

Symptoms of Thrips

  • The Infested leaves by thrips curl upward, fall apart, and shed.
  • Infected buds become fragile and fall to the ground.
  • Light brown scars can be seen on impacted fruits.
  • Infestation at an early stage impairs growth, flower output, and fruit set.

Management of Thrips

  • Sesbania grandiflora can be interplanted to create a barrier that controls the thrips population.
  • Avoid growing combined crops of onions and chillies because they are highly susceptible to thrips.
  • Keep plants well-irrigated and refrain from overusing nitrogen fertiliser, which could encourage thrips populations to increase.
  • Cut off and remove the diseased areas.
  • Practice mulching.
Mulching in capsicum
Mulching in capsicum

Aphids

Aphids can harm capsicum plants in various ways, including defoliating, wilting, chlorosis, and blossom abortion. Aphids can also cause a decrease in photosynthetic capacity and fruit quality by stimulating moulds that grow on the honeydew.

Symptoms of Aphids

  • Aphids generally appear on the underside of the leaf. They excrete honeydew, which draws ants and sooty mould, turning the leaves black and lowering the plant’s photosynthetic activity rate.
  • Aphids suck the sap and weaken the capsicum plant.
  • Pods that turn black from sooty mould lose quality and sell for a low price.
  • Aphids and viral infections acting as vectors both directly and indirectly affect yields.
Aphids in capsicum
Aphids in capsicum

Management of Aphids

  • At least twice a week, examine your plants for aphids to spot infestations early and remove them with a hose, a rake, or other tools.
  • Cut off any heavily infected leaves.
  • Use water sprays.
  • Destroy all weeds.
  • Prune the infected regions.
  • Implement systemic fungicides.
  • Use of sticky traps.

Whitefly

Small, yellowish insects with white wings are the appearance of whiteflies. The capsicum whitefly consumes a wide variety of plants, but the chilli, tomato, and brinjal families are more susceptible. Whiteflies are primarily found on the undersides of leaves. They have the potential to significantly damage capsicum, decrease yield, and obstruct both domestic and foreign market access.

Symptoms of Whitefly

  • Chlorotic patches on the leaves eventually combine into an erratic yellowing of the leaf tissue that spreads from the veins to the leaf edges.
  • A severe infestation of whitefly causes premature defoliation.
  • Infestation of whitefly leads to the growth of sooty mould on leaves.
  • Bud and boll shedding and inadequate boll opening are observed.
Whitefly in capsicum
Whitefly in capsicum

Management of Whitefly

  • By eliminating and removing all crop leftovers as quickly as possible, maintain proper sanitation in regions where weeds and host crops grow in the winter and spring.
  • The host crops should be spaced apart as much as possible.
  • Use sticky traps.
  • Use neem extract and polythene sheets.
  • Prune the infected regions.
  • Use systemic sprays.

Pest control methods for aphids, whitefly, and thrips:

Polythene Sheets:

Cover the fields with polythene sheets for three weeks to keep the soil from heating up and preserve the land from pests and diseases.

Polythene sheets
Polythene sheets

Sticky traps and yellow pan water traps

Set up blue sticky traps for thrips @4-5 traps/acre and yellow pan water traps/sticky traps for whiteflies @15 cm above the canopy. Empty tins readily available locally can be painted yellow or coated with grease, Vaseline, or castor oil on the outside.

Stick traps and yellow water pan
Stick traps and yellow water pan

How can Fasal assist?

  • One or two criteria cannot accurately forecast the causes of a pest outbreak. It depends on various factors, including the indefinite use of chemicals and fertiliser sprays, climatic conditions, humidity, stage of the crop, etc.
  • Fasal is a complete agricultural intelligence solution that keeps track of all these variables and enables farmers to make very accurate day-to-day decisions about their farms.
  • With the help of Fasal technology, you can better plan farm activities by using weather forecasts tailored to your farms.
  • Fasal System significantly lowers the cost of pesticides by warning of pests and diseases and recommending preventative sprays only when necessary.
  • With the use of sensors in the Fasal system, you can keep an eye on your farm’s conditions from any location at any time.

Thus Aphids, whiteflies, and other pests are no longer a menace to your farm.

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