Pepper Maggot

Pepper Maggot

Pepper Maggot Larva

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Common names: Pepper Maggot

Scientific name: Zonosemata electa

Region: This fly is found in the eastern and southwestern United States.

Life cycle: This insect produces one generation each year and overwinters as a pupa in the soil.

Physical description: The small pointed larva is translucent white at first, turning yellow as is feeds.  The fly is yellow with brown stripes on the wings and is about 1/3 inch long.  The white eggs are curved and are laid in the wall or interior cavity of the fruit.

Feeding characteristics: This pest will attack eggplant, pepper, and tomato plants, eating from within the peppers, causing them to rot and drop to the ground.  The larvae then leave near the stem and go underground to pupate.

Controls: You can discourage the adult fly by sprinkling Diatomaceous earth or Rock Phosphate on the fruits during the egg-laying periods of July and August.  If the fly has already infested the fruit, remove and destroy the damaged fruit.

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