I live in Hawaii, which means the weather is always suitable for growing peppers.
Unfortunately, this also means the conditions are also always suitable for the pests who love to deface pepper plants who perpetually have large populations ready to spring on any that are left unattended for too long.
The ones I've had to deal with so far are (In order of annoyance from least to most):
Slugs/snails: Had one shishito seedling get utterly demolished by one of these guys, but that was because I made the mistake of leaving it near a plant they love to hang out by at night. They generally avoid moving across the paved surfaces around the house and haven't so much as attempted to climb any of the pots for the remaining plants.
Thrips: They show up in low numbers and are easy enough to squish/flick off my plants.
Fungus gnats: I made the mistake of buying some low quality Black Gold Organic potting mix, which aside from doing a rather poor job of growing my peppers (The root systems of all my shishitos are alarmingly puny compared to some significantly smaller nursery-grown pepper plants I purchased and the leaf color on all of the plants is far from the deep green that's commonplace on the plants pictured here), was apparently harboring the eggs of these things, though I've started to deal with them by letting the soil dry better and spraying the surface dirt with neem oil.
Whiteflies: There seems to be no end to these guys, but as with the thrips, they show up in numbers low enough that I've been controlling them by simply going out each night and squishing them while they sleep and also removing any eggs in the event they get a chance to lay them. However, I learned the hard way that they are carriers of another far more destructive, yet subtle pest...
Leaf miners: As someone with OCD, I utterly loathe the cosmetic damage these things cause with their tunneling larva, and I also realized that the strange, white pinprick dots appearing on my pepper leaves are actually the aftermath of the adults poking holes in the leaves both to feed and to lay eggs. The plants only seemed to be having minor issues at first with just one or two tunnels forming per plant (But subsequently being stopped by crushing the larvae with a good pinch), but a whole mess of dormant eggs seem to have hatched on the oldest plants and have left once lovely leaves looking quite unsightly, but at least healthy enough to stay alive.
Mites: These are the pests I mentioned were being carried by the white flies, and are the only ones that have been seriously hurting my peppers. I'm not sure what species they are, but considering how difficult they are to see (The bulk of them looked like dust particles, with only the exceptionally large ones about the size of a period giving away that they were actually alive), I'm assuming they're broad mites. As is oft the case with them, I didn't realize I had an infestation until my three oldest shishito plants had started to suffer some very noticeable damage in the form of shriveled, deformed leaves, with each new set looking progressively worse until I opted to just top off two of the peppers because of how badly the new leaves had been deformed. I pruned the worst of the leaves to deny them easy hiding places and have put the plants on a regular neem oil treatment plan every four days or so to ensure any new mite hatchlings are eliminated
To make things worse, I initially had thought it was the soil or a nutrient deficiency that was causing the symptoms for the first victim and transplanted it into a soiless 5-1-1 mix (From the lousy pre-made mix I was using) which likely stressed it even more. It's still attempting to put out new growth, but all of it is very shriveled and it's hard to say whether it's residual mite damage and/or transplant shock.
However, in the light of this incident, I noticed something rather peculiar which is that despite being as old as the shishito plants and actually having some mites skittering about on their containers as a result of being in close proximity, the Aji Limon plants I have seem to be have been left totally untouched by them and are looking far more robust despite identical fertilizer/soil (Though their coloration is quite light compared to the specimens I've seen here). Not one leaf on either of the plants I've currently been growing has come out deformed/shriveled, where as all of the shishitos have had it in varying degrees.
Looking about blogs of growers in Hawaii, I saw mention that it's the capsicum annuums (Which shishitos are) that seemed to be targeted the most by pests and the other families were comparatively less of a problem. I'm wondering if others have noticed a trend in mites and other destructive pests seeming to avoid certain varieties, because I'm thinking I'd rather just grow peppers they'll leave alone then have to spray them all the time. Then again, I'd likely have to adopt an aggressive spraying routine regardless once the plants get especially large and start producing as manually squishing the pests is going to become too much of a hassle with so many leaves to check.
Edited by Takanotsume, 20 May 2019 - 07:30 AM.