Something's eating my bell pepper's leaves
I am fairly new to gardening and am really enjoying the hobby.
I have a number of plants out on the back patio in pots, one of them being a green bell pepper plant that is about 18" tall and is seems to be doing well in regards to its pepper production.
However, it's leaves are getting torn into pretty heavily. At first it was just a few small holes in the middle of the lower leaves. Now there are many leaves that have holes, and some that are being eaten from the outside in.
I also notice what I believe to be feces on the patio ground underneath leaves that hang outside the pot - little black circles/specs.
Any suggestions on how best to handle this problem would be appreciated. I noticed there were two caterpillars (yellow and black stripped ones) on my nearby parsley plant. Could this be what's eating my bell peppers?
On a (possibly) related note, I also have a lot of little black flies in and around the soil. From reading online it appears that these are likely fungus gnats. I do believe I was overwattering, so I am letting the soil and compost dry out, and hopefully that will nip that problem in the bud. Do the larval stage of fungus gnats eat leaves? Could that be the problem?