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Chilli Pests and Diseases (Pepper), Symptoms, Control

Chilli Pests and Diseases (Pepper), Symptoms, Control

Chilli Pests and Diseases and their control methods:

The following is about Chilli Pests and Diseases, Symptoms, Control Measures.

Diseases in chilli plants are less common, but often more dangerous to plants. Diseases mainly affected due to Bacteria, Fungi, Virus, and Other sources.

The Disease mainly affects yields by reducing the photosynthetic area in the early stages and infestation on reproductive parts and the yields at later stages. Disease controls the photosynthate flow in the plant (equivalent to blocking of pipes).

Healthy Chilli Plant.
Healthy Chilli Plant.

Major Factors for Diseases:

  • The effect of the disease depends upon the susceptibility / Resistance of the plant to the pathogen.
  • Diseases are categorized as soilborne seed- borne and airborne.
  • Soil-borne diseases are affected due to improper pH levels in the soil, bacteria in the soil, cultural operations, and improper irrigation.
  • Seed-Borne diseases affected due to high moisture levels in seeds, and improper storage
  • Air Borne diseases affected due to high-temperature fluctuations and rains.

Diseases in Chilli (Pepper) Plants:

Bacterial leaf spot: It is a serious bacterial disease, the disease cannot survive in the soil for long and is spread through seeds, plants, and dead plant material. This bacterial disease spreads very quickly.


  • You can observe small yellow-green legions and necrotic patches on the leaves. And sometimes you can observe brown lesions with yellow halos or patchy areas of dark and light green.
  • The edge tissue of leaves becomes dry and brittle. This mainly affects older foliage, moving onto new growth soon after. Leaves and Stems develop brown cankers.
  • Fruits have pale, water-soaked lesions, which become hard and brown.


  • You can prevent the initial infection using high quality or treated seeds.
  • Good ventilation and perfect spacing will prevent this disease.
  • Removing infected plants, maintaining hygiene is crucial. So, remove any dead plant material regularly.
  • The bacteria from a dead plant is transmitted to plants through splashing water. So, Water gently or bottom water.
  • A copper-based fungicide will prevent the spread of the disease.

Bacterial Soft Rot:

This is a bacterial infection that mainly affects chilli pods. Bacteria will be induced into ground onto pods causing them to rot from the inside out. The Soft Rot mainly occurs due to wet weather and some insect pests can also introduce the disease.


  • Soft pods will get waterlogged and they eventually dissolve.
  • Foul smell from the pods.


  • Raising plants off the ground.
  • Controlling the insect pests or keeping control of their numbers.

Pepper Mosaic Virus:

This virus is spread by aphids and whiteflies and is injected straight into the leaves and stems of chilli plants. This virus results in leaf curls along with molting.


  • Green and yellow patches in a mosaic pattern on leaves.
  • Curled and Distorted leaves
  • Slows plant growth.
  • Low pod growth and very poor yields.


There is no perfect cure for this virus. You just need to implement some preventative measures,

  • Select the seed varieties that are more resistant to Mosaic Virus.
  • Keep away the plants from aphids and deal with any infestation quickly.

Chilli Wilt:

This is a disease is caused due to an organism called a Water Mould. The disease causes lead to Leaf Blight, Fruit and Root Rot, which cause serious problems in chilli plants.


  • Infected plants have Brown or black patches, along with halo of white molds.
  • Fruits get soften quickly and dissolve into a watery mass.
  • The Plant will suddenly wilt and dies, leaving brown stems.


  • Avoid overwatering and keep the plants well ventilated and well-spaced. Remove infected plants as quickly.
  • Go for organic fungicidal treatments to control the spread of Leaf Blight, but once the infection is in the root system, the plant cannot be rescued.

Damping Off:

It is a soil born disease that leads to seed rot and/or newly emerged seedlings to collapse and die. The fungus in the soil, which are mobile in damp conditions, causes Damping Off.


  • Seeds will fail to germinate. And if you dig down into the soil, you can observe the seeds that have become soft and mushy which will disintegrate.
  • Young roots and stems of seedlings will be attacked at the soil line. Stem turns soft, waterlogged and thin, and start to disintegrate.


  • Use high-quality seeds from a reputed dealer to prevent the introduction of bacterial problems.
  • Water Moulds are common in damp conditions. So, keep the soil moist but not wet and remove any affected seedlings.
  • Give good ventilation to the seedlings.
  • A mild organic copper-based fungicide or even Chamomile Tea can be used to treat this disease, which can prevent the spread of infection.

Grey Mould:

Grey Mould is a common fungal infection caused by Botrytis cinerea. The grey mould spores that generally only attacks stressed plants or through wounds in the stem. It induces the fungi into the plant with no visible signs until the fruit starts to ripen and turns into brown mush.


  • Fuzzy, grey, moulds on the stems, leaves, buds, flowers or fruit.
  • Tiny black seed-like structures on the infected part of the plant.
  • The Chilli pods turn soft and brown instead of ripening.
  • In case of severe infections, buds and flowers and on the whole plant can quickly shrivel and die.


There are no specific fungicides for Grey Mould. To prevent this disease the only real way is to deal control humidity levels and maintain hygiene.

  • Remove dead and dying leaves, buds and flowers and remove all the dead plant material lying area around the plants.
  • Keep the plants well ventilated and well-spaced.
  • Avoid overwatering.


It is a fungal infection, shows a great impact on the size and quality of fruit and yields. There are some 16 types of Anthracnose to affect chillies, these are mainly affected to the plants grown in tropical climates but do appear in temperate conditions too.


  • Circular legions and black patches on the chilli pod.
  • Fruit rots eventually.
  • You can also observe irregular brown spots with dark brown holes on leaves and stems.


To cure Anthracnos, you need to implement some preventive measures.

  • Anthracnose is like other fungal infections, causes due to damp conditions. So, plant the chillies in well-drained compost and not overwatered.
  • Use Copper based organic fungicide to slow down the spread of Anthracnose.

Pests on Chilli (Pepper) Plants:

Pepper Maggots: These are yellowish grubs feed on the pods leads to premature ripening and drop.


  • Pods drop at an early stage.
  • Small holes in the pods


Affected pods should be picked off.

Slugs and snails: Common garden pests that decimate chilli plants and are uncontrollable if you are vigilant.


  • Keep slime trails around the greenhouse.
  • Apply mulches with the leaves around the plants.
  • Cause holes in the pods.

Read: Types of Mulching.


  • Pick them off regularly; salt baths, beer traps, slug pellets, porridge oats, copper tape are the best treatment for slugs.

Thrips: Thrips damage plants by sucking the leaves, buds, and fruit and introducing infections.


  • Larvae/egg under the leaves.
  • Distorted leaves.
  • Browning spots on the pods.
  • Silvery streaks on flowers and Browning patches on leaves.
  • You can observe groups of thrips underside of the leaves.


  • Treat the affected areas with a mild soap solution.
  • There are many organic pesticides in the market choose the suitable combination and use limitedly.

Spider mites:

Spidermates can cause a major effect on the yields.


  • A pale mottling on the upper side of leaves and loss of leaf color.
  • Spidermates infestation can cause fine grey webbing on leaves.


  • Misting can prevent spidermates.
  • There are many organic pesticides available in the market that can easily control spider mites.

Aphids and Whitefly:

Greenhouse Aphids and Whitefly most common pests that easily affect the chilli crops.


  • Flying insects around plants and larvae at tips and under the leaves.
  • Patches and Sticky residue on the leaves,
  • Larvae on the upper side of the leaves and top of the soil.
  • Improper growth.


  • Just wipe the leaves with a damp cloth to clean off the larvae.
  • Good ventilation and air circulation.
  • Spraying pressured water from a hose can wash off the plants.
  • Many organic pesticide sprays are available in the market that controls aphids and whiteflies easily.

Read: Parwal Farming Techniques (Pointed Gourd).

Last Updated: March 25, 2019
Author: Jagdish


  1. Mr. Reddy doing good job for the nation. It will be very helpful if you will show the picture of the disease affected plant or pod.

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