Pepper Weevil Update Throughout South Florida

One insect that is being reported in high numbers right now across South Florida is the pepper weevil.

Pepper Weevil Update
Graphic courtesy of South Florida Pest and Disease Hotline

According to the South Florida Pest and Disease Hotline, scouts are reporting high pepper weevil pressure in some areas across Southwest Florida. Weevils are also being observed on eggplant foliage at low levels.

The same is being seen in fields along the east coast. Pepper weevil pressure is extremely high, though that is normal for this time of the season.

Dak Seal, University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) entomologist at the Tropical Research and Education Center, reports high populations of pepper weevil in the Homestead, Florida, area.

Fruit drop is the most obvious sign of infestation. The fruit stems infested by larvae turn yellow, and the fruit colors prematurely.

Growers should consult UF/IFAS recommendations in the Vegetable Production Handbook of Florida for currently labeled insecticides for pepper weevil control in Florida.

Insecticides are usually applied to the foliage at short intervals once buds begin to form. Insecticidal suppression is feasible, but chemical applications vary in effectiveness. Loss can still occur even in the presence of chemical insecticides.