Hot chilli virus diseases
Chillies are just as susceptible to the know viruses as tomatoes. The most common known virus is tobacco mosaic virus, tomato spotted wilt virus and potato virus group X and group Y. You cannot control or spray for a virus. There are no chemicals that can kill viruses on a large scale as required on farms. The only way to control a virus is to limit the development and spread of insects that are the carriers of viruses.
Precautionary measures for the control of viruses on tomatoes, can also be applied here. The most important are:
- Destroy perennial weeds which can be carriers of viruses
- Workers must not smoke or chew tobacco while they are working on chilli fields
- Workers must wash their hands thoroughly with carbolic soap before they work with the plant. This applies during pruning, harvesting and weed control
- Control aphids in the seedbeds and on the land. Scouting helps to identify where the most aphids in neighbouring fields and bushes are. One can focus more in those areas thus reducing spray costs and get better control
- Chillies must not be grown near tobacco, tomatoes, cucumbers and melons as they all share the same virus and vectors (insects that carry the virus).
- It is essential to control thrips in time, especially in the seedbeds as these extremely small insects can have a devastating effect on the crop.
- Plant crops around the field that attract vector insects and predator insects. This will lure the insects away from the main crop and reduce infestation.
- Planting crops or plants that attract predatory insects is a cheap way of controlling other insects as the predator insects feed on the insects that damage your plant. A classic example is sunflower plants along roads and edges of fields.
- Remove any plant that is infected with a virus and burn them. Do not use them as compost as the virus will persist in the dead material for long periods.