Pacific Pests, Pathogens and Weeds - Online edition

Pacific Pests, Pathogens, Weeds & Pesticides

Chilli pesticide (preparation & use) (504)

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  • Chillies are grown world-wide. There are many varieties and they differ in ‘hotness’.
  • Active ingredient is Capsaicin. The common varieties have a range of ‘hotness’ [measured in Scoville heat units (SHU)], e.g.:
    • Habanero (Red Savina) = 350,000 to 750,000 SHU.
    • Habanero (Fiji Bongo Chili) = 100,000 to 350,000 SHU
    • Nepalese Akabare = 100,000 to 350,000 SHU
    • Bird’s Eye = 50,000 to 100,000 SHU.
  • Formulation guide:
    • Bird’s Eye – 20g/L fresh weight (about 30 ripe fruits)
    • Bongo chili/Akabare – 10g/L fresh weight (about 5 ripe fruits)
    • Red Savina – 5g/L fresh weight (about 3 ripe fruits).
  • Must use personal protection equipment (PPE) when preparing the chillies and spraying:
    • Collect mature to ripe fruits of selected chili variety.
    • Crush and pound the chilies, working them into a paste.
    • Place the paste on a fine muslin cloth and bring the sides together making a cloth bag enclosing the paste. Place the cloth bag in a bucket adding sufficient water to cover the bag for at least 1 hour, preferably overnight.
    • After soaking, squeeze the juice from the bag with hands protected by rubber gloves or plastic bags.
    • For each 1L water of the final mix, add 10ml (1 bottle cap) cooking oil and 5g (1/2 bottle cap) bar soap (preferably vegetable Castile soap).
    • Check to see if the mix contains plant material which might block the sprayer. If it does, strain through fine muslin or a metal strainer.
    • Add water to achieve final volume; pour into the sprayer, and use.
    • Adapt formulation to 10L or 15L mixture to fit hydraulic knapsack sprayer.
  • Used to control aphids on a range of vegetable crops, thrips on eggplant, and to disrupt the symbiotic relationship between ants (e.g., white-footed ant), aphid and scale insects, particularly Icerya seychellarum.
Common Name

Chilli. It is also known as chilli pepper, cayenne pepper, and pimento in Portuguese.

Scientific Name

Capsicum frutescens; there are many other species that produce 'chillies', e.g., Capsicum annuum, Capsicum baccatum, Capsicum chinense, and Capsicum pubescens. They are all members of the nightshade family, the Solanaceae.

AUTHOUR: Mani Mua & Grahame Jackson
Information from Pacific Organic Standard. SPC Land Resources Division, Suva, Fiji. (; and Scoville heat scale. Wikipedia. ( and from Maskey B, et al. (2021) Post-harvest quality of fresh Akabare chili (Capsicum chinese) as affected by hydrocooling, package modification and storage temperature. International Journal of Food Properties. (

Produced with support from the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research under project HORT/2016/185: Responding to emerging pest and disease threats to horticulture in the Pacific islands, implemented by the University of Queensland and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community.

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