Last year, I found some brown spots on some of my pepper plants. I couldn't see any insects so I trimmed the affected parts quite aggressively. The plant survived the operation quite well and proceeded to grow and fruit.

Unfortunately, I've recently started seeing similar scars along the veins on the same plant. I've given it a thorough inspection and found a handful of these critters:

millimetre long, segmented arthropod with a pair of long but otherwise undeveloped wings

What are they? Can they be the cause of my pepper's scarring? How do I get rid of them?

up vote 3 down vote accepted

After some further research, I've identified this as a thrips, most likely the western flower thrips.

They're allegedly quite difficult to get rid of. I'm growing this plant indoors and it's almost the end of the season so I can't rely on predatory insects to take care of these.

I'll try to spray the plant with neem oil in hope of controlling them. If that doesn't help, I'll wait for the fruit to ripen and get rid of the plant. I'd rather not have it spread to other varieties that I need to keep indoors throughout the winter.

  • Yes, they're thrips. They can fly, so (assuming that your other varieties are already indoors) your other indoor plants may already be infested. Personally, I'd toss this one ASAP or move it outside (into shade at first, then progressively giving it more sun each day for a week) to allow the fruit to ripen. The longer you keep this indoors, the more likely it is that your other plants will also have them. In fact, the thrips may have been on one of your other plants BEFORE they were on the pepper. Toss the soil, too, when you've gotten rid of the plant. – Jurp Sep 15 at 12:21
  • @Jurp over the last summer, I've been keeping two plants indoors and another five in the garden. It's still warm enough for them to survive but I doubt there's enough time left for me to condition the infested ones. I'll keep them where they are and clean up when I have to move the ones from the outside for the winter. As a matter of fact, I don't have any houseplants other than my peppers. – toniedzwiedz Sep 15 at 17:16

Your Answer

By clicking "Post Your Answer", you acknowledge that you have read our updated terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy, and that your continued use of the website is subject to these policies.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.