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Author Topic: Pepper Plant Insect Damage. What's Doing It?  (Read 5549 times)
dennyboy
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Las Vegas NV - Zone 8 or 9


« on: June 04, 2009, 12:13:25 PM »


This is a picture from the internet. Several of the leaves near the top of my Gypsy pepper plant look just like this, and it happened overnight.

The damage in the photo (which is not my plant) was caused by "Leaf Cutter Bees", but I never see any bees around here. I suspect grasshoppers, but I have not seen any of those so far this year either. I sprayed the plant this morning with Safer Insect Killing Soap.

Has anyone had this kind of leaf damage? Do you know what caused it?

dennyboy




* LEAFCUTTER BEE DAMAGE.JPG (11.77 KB, 390x253 - viewed 221 times.)
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mjb8743
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Zone 7, South NJ, Garden State


« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2009, 01:54:25 PM »

Yes, I've had a running battle with grasshoppers munching on my pepper leaves, and sweet potatoes, too. Fortunately, the plants were large enough that the damage was minimal, and I avoided having to spray. My 'hoppers were green, so they stayed hidden in plain sight...

Mickie
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dennyboy
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Las Vegas NV - Zone 8 or 9


« Reply #2 on: June 04, 2009, 03:07:22 PM »


Thanks Mickie. Did your grasshopper damage look like the photo? My leaves look like surgical instruments were used to cut out the crescents and half-moon shapes.

I did some more googling and found that my problem might be the Leaf Cutter Bee after all. The info says that they have been seen in Las Vegas. On one site it says they can do tremendous damage, but on a US Agriculture site it says to leave them alone because they are great pollinators.  Huh?

I'll just have to be on the lookout for grasshoppers.

dennyboy

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gardendoc
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Ocean Springs, MS Zone 9a


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« Reply #3 on: June 04, 2009, 03:27:03 PM »

dennyboy, definitely leaf cutter bee damage.  Generally control measures are not needed. 
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mjb8743
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Zone 7, South NJ, Garden State


« Reply #4 on: June 04, 2009, 04:23:15 PM »


Thanks Mickie. Did your grasshopper damage look like the photo? My leaves look like surgical instruments were used to cut out the crescents and half-moon shapes.

I did some more googling and found that my problem might be the Leaf Cutter Bee after all. The info says that they have been seen in Las Vegas. On one site it says they can do tremendous damage, but on a US Agriculture site it says to leave them alone because they are great pollinators.  Huh?

I'll just have to be on the lookout for grasshoppers.

My grasshopper damage was more ragged and random.
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111 EBs and growing... so how come there are never enough boxes??
gardendoc
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Ocean Springs, MS Zone 9a


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« Reply #5 on: June 04, 2009, 04:45:54 PM »

The leaf cutter bees are neat eaters and leave the clean edges found in the images. 
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A government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have. Gerald Ford

Be the fountain, not the drain
dennyboy
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Posts: 126

Las Vegas NV - Zone 8 or 9


« Reply #6 on: June 10, 2009, 05:06:50 PM »

If you live in the southwest and you have had precision semi-circles cut out of your plants' leaves, here are some pictures of the likely chewer. These are leaf cutter bees.

I finally saw one of these land on a twig yesterday, so I guess there are bees after all in these parts. That helps explain why I have not had any pollination problems this season. I have seen them flying around, but they are so fast it's been impossible to tell what they are.

They do not actually eat the leaves they cut. They use them in building nests. They do not live in hives. It's best to leave them alone because they are great pollinators.







 



* LEAFCUTTER BEE PHOTO 3.jpg (21.87 KB, 485x411 - viewed 156 times.)

* LEAFCUTTER BEE DAMAGE 2.jpg (15.3 KB, 400x275 - viewed 169 times.)

* LEAFCUTTER BEE PHOTO.jpg (25.65 KB, 333x500 - viewed 157 times.)
« Last Edit: June 10, 2009, 06:55:54 PM by dennyboy » Logged
gardendoc
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Ocean Springs, MS Zone 9a


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« Reply #7 on: June 10, 2009, 08:30:32 PM »

Hence the leaf cutter bees and not leaf eater bees
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A government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have. Gerald Ford

Be the fountain, not the drain
kittyhawk63
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« Reply #8 on: June 11, 2009, 10:19:09 AM »

See the parts of a grasshopper's mouth. This may explain why they leave ragged edges on the leaves they eat. http://wwwbio200.nsm.buffalo.edu/labs/tutor/Grasshopper/Grasshopper50D.htm

Here is a close up of the mouth of a grasshopper with all parts attached. I can see here why he is a sloppy eater. The color is probably due to him chewing tobacco all the time. Ever had one spit its tobacco juice on you? No, it's not real tobacco. That's what we Texans where I grew up call it.
kh63

Picture of grasshopper mouth:
« Last Edit: June 16, 2009, 12:12:46 PM by kittyhawk63 » Logged
akw1971
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« Reply #9 on: June 25, 2009, 01:52:07 PM »

Here's what they did to my pepper plants!

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gardendoc
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Ocean Springs, MS Zone 9a


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« Reply #10 on: June 25, 2009, 01:56:53 PM »

I do not think grasshoppers are the culprit.   R a t s
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A government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have. Gerald Ford

Be the fountain, not the drain
kittyhawk63
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« Reply #11 on: June 25, 2009, 02:15:20 PM »

If there is a lot of forage for them, they will not resort to eating stem and all. They will stay with more tender leaves. If there is little for them to eat, they'll eat everything in sight. I saw this as a kid growing up in Texas after we had three or more years of devastating drought. They would lay the fields bare. So, if there is a lot for them to eat, I agree with gardendoc. RATS. Or, some other creature.
kh63
« Last Edit: June 25, 2009, 03:09:49 PM by kittyhawk63 » Logged
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