Diseases caused by viruses are among the most common cause of loss to capsicum growers across Australia. Symptoms of several virus diseases often appear to be very similar in the field, and more than one virus disease may be present in a crop at one time. Diagnosis on symptoms alone is often misleading. If a virus disease is suspected, it is advisable to arrange to have samples sent to a plant pathology laboratory for accurate diagnosis.

The species that transmit tomato spotted wilt virus (TSWV) in Australia are western flower thrips (Frankliniella occidentalis), tomato thrips (F. schulzei), melon thrips (Thrips palmi) and onion thrips (T. tabaci).

Capsicum chlorosis virus is transmitted by tomato thrips and melon thrips.

Thrips species such as plague thrips and greenhouse thrips do not transmit the viruses.

Key control method considerations for virus diseases are:

  • Use healthy transplants
  • Destroy harvested capsicum and tomato crops before planting new blocks
  • Maintain high crop and farm hygiene standards
  • Do not over use insecticides:
    insects can develop resistance and insecticides are often of limited use in reducing virus spread

  • Use virus resistant varieties

Capsicum Viruses
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