Pepper weevil populations continue to be high across South Florida. Growers should be scouting as populations are expected to intensify when warmer temperatures return to the region, according to the South Florida Pest and Disease Hotline.
Populations are high around Southwest Florida and along the East Coast where weevils are being observed not long after fruit development.
Respondents also report that pepper weevil abundance is high in the Homestead, Florida area with one to four infested fruits per plant.
Fruit drop is the most obvious sign of infestation. The fruit stems that are infested turn yellow and the fruit colors prematurely. Adult population estimates are best observed by scouting and yellow sticky traps. Thresholds are one adult per 400 terminal buds or 1% of buds infested.
Insecticides are available but very in effectiveness. Some loss can still occur when insecticides are applied. Growers can apply insecticides at short intervals once buds start to form.
Consult UF/IFAS recommendations in the Vegetable Production Handbook of Florida for currently labeled insecticides for pepper weevil control in Florida.