Bacterial wilt can be an issue in Florida pepper production if the soil is infected with strains of the bacterial pathogen that can infect pepper. Many pepper species are affected by bacterial wilt.
The first symptom of the bacterial wilt disease is "green wilting" of the plants. While other diseases that cause wilting symptom can have similar symptoms, the leaves in this case remain green in most cases.
The disease lead to complete death of the infected plants. In some pepper types like scotch bonnet here, the stem and branches stays dry, while in bell pepper, you may see complete collapse of the plant.
A section of a large field with severe infection of bacterial wilt. The disease tends to be spotty in the field except in rare cases where contaminated water can cause widespread damage.
One way to confirm the disease is of bacterial origin is to conduct a bacterial streaming test on a cut end of pepper stem showing signs of wilting. You will see a thick bacterial streaming for bacterial wilt.
Bacterial ooze can be also noticed through decayed/cut stem or branches of infected plants when squeezed. Bacterial streaming and ooze test is a quick test that can be done in field conditions.