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What to do about Pepper Maggots?

Welcome Hawaiianero. I don't think BT would work at all on pepper maggots. Might you have a link or something you might have gotten this info from? BT works great but I don't see this as the right application. The eggs are injected directly into the pepper and the maggot exits and forms a cacoon to mature in. I don't see how the BT would get into the pepper and even if it did honestly the damage is done way before the maggot even takes its first bite of the fruit/BT.
 
Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt)
Works for most pests that like to eat plants. Its an organism that attacks their digestive tract so they die before doing too much damage. You can get it in liquid form from most garden shops and you spray it on the plant every other week, more often during rainy periods. Works great for most vegetables and washes off easily when harvesting.

Yeah I actually used some today after I spotted and killed some buggers on my tomato plants this morning.
Welcome Hawaiianero. I don't think BT would work at all on pepper maggots. Might you have a link or something you might have gotten this info from? BT works great but I don't see this as the right application. The eggs are injected directly into the pepper and the maggot exits and forms a cacoon to mature in. I don't see how the BT would get into the pepper and even if it did honestly the damage is done way before the maggot even takes its first bite of the fruit/BT.

Yeah BT must be ingested to work. That said the maggots have to eat their way out. If the surface of the pods had BT on them then it might work.
 
Right but the problem is the adult female stinging the peppers really. Even if it ended at that point your pepper will rot once she does this.
 
Im going to stick to cleaning the garden very well and the end of the season and work with DE in one way or another.
 
BT in the soil might help. I wish there was more that could be done...
 
Right, but if you were able to kill the larva as it was coming out of the rotten peppers, then you would be destroying the next generation, no?
 
filmost said:
Right, but if you were able to kill the larva as it was coming out of the rotten peppers, then you would be destroying the next generation, no?
Kinda what I had in mind. DE takes the long route also, might kill the parent but not until after it lays the eggs. With Bt, If can at least kill the babies then there should be fewer adults in time. No real good solution I think unless there is a hormone attractant like for fruit flies. The only other option would be to use one of those nasty chemical sprays that kill everything but that goes against the reasons why most of us grow our own in the first place
PrimeTime said:
Welcome Hawaiianero. I don't think BT would work at all on pepper maggots. Might you have a link or something you might have gotten this info from? BT works great but I don't see this as the right application. The eggs are injected directly into the pepper and the maggot exits and forms a cacoon to mature in. I don't see how the BT would get into the pepper and even if it did honestly the damage is done way before the maggot even takes its first bite of the fruit/BT.
To answer your question PrimeTime, no I don't have any proof it works but was just trying to throw out what to me, seems logical.
 
Fair enough. from what I've read its one generation per season so i guess if you get the babies you help yourself with the following season. I still really don't see how to feed them the BT but maybe Ill try leaving some mosquito dunks in my raised bed this winter. Probably won't do anything in the cold but maybe help in the spring? I dunno
 
PrimeTime said:
Fair enough. from what I've read its one generation per season so i guess if you get the babies you help yourself with the following season. I still really don't see how to feed them the BT but maybe Ill try leaving some mosquito dunks in my raised bed this winter. Probably won't do anything in the cold but maybe help in the spring? I dunno
Yeah it does seem like a long shot. Sorry if I come across as someone who actually knows what he's talking about but I would think if the maggot works his way out not long after the plant has been sprayed there is a chance that it will ingest a little Bt. From what I hear about it, a little is all it takes and so it's digestive tract will shut down even as it matures. To be honest I haven't a clue as to their life cycle or even if they eat once they reach maturity so this is all guesswork. On the bright side, you would be taking care of any aphids or leafhoppers so the plants will be healthier :confused:  
 
The only experience I have with BT is adding it to water for seedlings with fungus gnats. The infants eat the roots so that makes sense to me. It worked a bit but I had a bad infestation. It certainly does not hurt anything so there ya go
 
I have been fighting these buggers since i planted my first pepper plant many years ago and have yet to win the battle.  The flies need to be killed as they emerge from the soil and the best way I have found to at least minimize the destruction is to solarize the soil. I do this by covering my garden with black plastic very early in the spring so that the soil temp rises which speeds up their hatching. When they hatch they come to the surface and are cooked alive. Nothing from the posts above worked for me at all.   Even using DE is not effective because they have already stung the fruit and the DE does not kill the maggots (unless you spread it on the ground under the plants). Maybe if you could put something under the plants to catch the maggots as they fall from the fruit ??
 
Good luck.
 
 
 
 
 
 
http://ipm.ncsu.edu/AG295/html/pepper_maggot.htm
 
I plan on the fabric over my bed a few weeks before plant out next year so hopefully that will help me. I don't have a bad problem but i would like to eat one of my own jalapeños one of these years!
 
I am planning to to move everything into semi-raised beds next year so will keep your advice in mind podpiper. I have also heard a thick layer of straw mulch can help with pests that need soil for part of their life cycle.
 
thepodpiper said:
I have been fighting these buggers since i planted my first pepper plant many years ago and have yet to win the battle.  The flies need to be killed as they emerge from the soil and the best way I have found to at least minimize the destruction is to solarize the soil. I do this by covering my garden with black plastic very early in the spring so that the soil temp rises which speeds up their hatching. When they hatch they come to the surface and are cooked alive. Nothing from the posts above worked for me at all.   Even using DE is not effective because they have already stung the fruit and the DE does not kill the maggots (unless you spread it on the ground under the plants). Maybe if you could put something under the plants to catch the maggots as they fall from the fruit ??
 
Good luck.
 
 
 
 
 
 
http://ipm.ncsu.edu/AG295/html/pepper_maggot.htm
This is a really good link podpiper. Now I see why you had your doubts PrimeTime. Sounds like early solarizing followed by a very thick layer of straw mulch might work. Good luck all. I'll be interested to hear how things turn out next year.
 
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