Pepper Weevils

  • Anthonomus eugenii
  • Image search from Google
  • common pest in southern California, but often migrates up to areas with warm winters
  • Adult is a small beetle (1/8″ long) with a dark body that looks brassy
  • Larvae are off-white grubs with a brown head, 1/4″ at maturity
  • Adult females lay their eggs in holes created in pepper buds or at the base of young fruit (peppers).
  • Peppers are damaged when the larvae hatches and starts feeding inside the seed core or pepper walls; younger peppers will drop when infested, but the older, larger, peppers will stay on and allow the weevil population to grow, almost undetected
  • Adult weevils also damage peppers by eating the fruit and leaf buds
  • Peppers are their primary hosts, but they will eat all the nightshades (tomatoes, eggplant, etc)
  • Control the pest by:
    • crop rotation
    • field sanitation (clearing last year’s debris, and any leaf or peppers that drop)
    • remove nightshade weeds or volunteers from around your garden
    • introducing parasitic wasps (only minimally controls pepper weevils)

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