I've noticed that a small number of the leaves on my pepper plants are showing several tiny holes through their surface. These are focused towards the stem of the leaf, and not so much towards the tips, and it seems to be effecting the top-most leaves, with only one or two leaves on each plant showing this issue.

Note that these leaves are not the ones I was seeing insects on the other day, in fact the plant that had the bugs on is the least effected, so I've a feeling these incidents are unrelated.

Is this a sign of a problem that I need to address?

Images (not the same leaf):

underside of leaf showing multiple small holes

top of leaf showing multiple small holes

2 Answers 2


The holes definitely look like they are caused by some sort of insect (especially when taking into account your other pepper plant related question).

At the moment the problem doesn't look that bad, therefore if you wish to take an organic approach, you could just keep an eye on it, before treating (if the problem gets worse).

Have you inspected the plant thoroughly (including soil line & just below) in an attempt to see if you can find, see the culprit?

Or if you're a little more concerned and wish to take action immediately, I would go with one the suggested methods (recommend trying "insecticidal soap" first) given in your other pepper plant related question: Insect infestation on my pepper plant, what do I do?

  • After a few inspections I can't see anything, but then I don't have much of a trained eye for these things... I'll watch them carefully for a few days, and if the issue worsens will pick up some insecticidal soap. Thanks again.
    – DMA57361
    Jul 13, 2011 at 8:10

Yes, I probably wouldn't be too worried - or not yet. I grow my peppers outside and this sort of damage is pretty typical.

Where I do get leaf-eating problems are with horn worms - a horn worm can fully defoliate a pepper plant on a day. Unfortunately this is when they usually get noticed because they are usually very camouflaged. The plant will grow back but of course that sets it back a few weeks. Tiny horn worms look like green inch worm caterpillars, and they grow to about 3 inches long and green.

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