Pepper Maggots

  • Zonosemata electa
  • Google Images
  • fly larvae
  • overwinters as a pupa in the soil; adults emerge over a 10- to 14-day period, starting when the soil warms up
  • during the summer, the female lays her eggs in punctures she creates in the skin of the pepper fruit
  • 8-10 days later the maggots emerge from the eggs and burrow into the fruit where they feed for about 2-3 weeks, getting to almost 1/2″ long
  • maggots are up to 1/2″ long and creamy white to yellow in color
  • mature maggots drop to the soil and burrow down 2-5″ where they pupate (brown, oval, smaller than 1/2″)

Control

    • clear plant debris during the growing season and at the end of the season (adults are attracted to rotting peppers
    • weed out all nightshade weeds and volunteers (VGPS)
  • crop rotation to non-nightshades

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