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Main Banana Discussion This is where we discuss our banana collections; tips on growing bananas, tips on harvesting bananas, sharing our banana photos and stories.


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Old 10-09-2009, 09:10 AM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default Bugs On Bananas!!!

Okay, I am not that familiar with some of the pests that damage some plants. I have NEVER had a problem with pests on my bananas with the exception of good ole Japanese Beetles. This year, I have had more problems than ever and I finally was able to take a couple of pics of an insect that is damaging my newly acquire Musa itenerans var. intenerans. Is this a whitefly?



Best pic I could get of the little critter!

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Old 10-09-2009, 09:14 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Bugs On Bananas!!!

Looks like it could be, it's hard to say from the pic. Do you have any areas underneath damaged leaves, or leaves that are turning yellow that are covered with a white fluffy but sticky webbing? The usually like to nest towards the leaf tips under folded leaves that don't open much anymore.
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Old 10-09-2009, 09:23 AM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Bugs On Bananas!!!

Thanks for the input Momoese. Minimal damage so far, and no signs of the whit fluff or any sticky substance. You can shake the pstem slightly and they will fly off. Wish I could get a better pic, but I don't have that great of a camera. Best I could come up with...
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Old 10-09-2009, 09:31 AM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Bugs On Bananas!!!

I did not mention that this banana is planted outside and not in a pot indoors!
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Old 10-09-2009, 09:31 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Bugs On Bananas!!!

They don't like water being sprayed on them and will move to another plant or the neighbors yard when disturbed. I get them frequently but never see any real damage so I just hose them off once in a while. I'm sure there are pesticides you could use and I'm also sure Richard will come along and say that water is a pesticide, although in this case it's mostly not because you are just disturbing them so they'll move on.
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Old 10-09-2009, 10:04 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Bugs On Bananas!!!

You could spray then with a 50/50 mix of water and dawn soap. Seven Dust works great and has not hurt anything I have used it on for fire ants. Now there is a bug thats a pain in the BEEP.... Good Luck Randy. If your weather has been cooler or wetter then normal would be the reason maybe you have bugs.
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Old 10-09-2009, 10:35 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Bugs On Bananas!!!

Grrr Randy!!! Looks like the nasty mealybug!!! A few of the male mealybugs have wings!!!
To avoid the use of pesticides, use rubbing alcohol.
You should use a cotton swab and dip it into the alcohol, search and kill every bug. Rubbing alcohol all over that bug!!!
Get yourself some parasitic wasps or ladybugs too if you can...they eat them!!!!!

Those nasty critters LOVE hibiscus...but we were out there everyday...me & Che' & Rissy...ARMED with q-tips & rubbing alcohol.
They are GONE from my yard, no thanks to HD, where I got the plants.
HD is inundated with them...I don't buy from them...I have pointed that crap out several times to their Garden Center manager.
Just yesterday too...

Good luck & DEATH TO THE MEALYBUGS!!! ~Cheryl
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Old 10-09-2009, 10:36 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Bugs On Bananas!!!

Okay,

Entomology is my bread and butter, it's what takes up 8 hours of my day Mon-Fri. It looks like a lacewing nymph, it's hard to tell from the picture. One thing to look at though is that a lacewing nymph will carry the carcasses of the dead aphids that it eats on its back. Obviously you want to keep it around.

Lacebugs on the otherhand, which it may be, are a pretty bad problem similar to aphids. The will freckle the leaves and leave lots of honeydew around for sooty mold to grow on. You can kill them with an agricultural soap or oil.
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Old 10-09-2009, 10:39 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Bugs On Bananas!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicolas Naranja View Post
lots of honeydew around for sooty mold to grow on.
I get a fair amount if sooty mold on the tops of dwarf leaves that under male buds that constantly make nectar. Same thing?
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Old 10-09-2009, 10:43 AM   #10 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Bugs On Bananas!!!

Still no positive ID, but what I am thinking is to try and keep them off until my first frost which will probably be within a couple more weeks. Once the frost, I won't have to worry about them, will I? Now next spring/summer is another story and that is why I wanted to id it for future reference. Currently they are not doing TOO much damage, but still don't like them!!!
Thanks for all the input and hopefully we can all figure out exactly which pest it is so I can treat it with minimal use of chems!!!
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Old 10-09-2009, 10:50 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Bugs On Bananas!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by momoese View Post
I get a fair amount if sooty mold on the tops of dwarf leaves that under male buds that constantly make nectar. Same thing?
I am quite confused by the statement "tops of dwarf leaves that under male buds that constantly make nectar." but basically if you have a plant sucking insect it's excrement is going to be sugar rich honeydew, and sooty mold grows on honeydew.
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Old 10-09-2009, 10:51 AM   #12 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Bugs On Bananas!!!

Well I did a google search (images) of whitefly, mealybug, male mealybug, and lacewing nymph, and none of the images looked anything like the bug on my nanner!!! UGH!!!! Wish I had a better camera!!! They are cool looking little guys, but not on my plants!!!!
Anyone have a good website of pics of pests?
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Old 10-09-2009, 11:02 AM   #13 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Bugs On Bananas!!!

I had what appears to be the same bug this spring on my basjoo....I got rid of them by using...IVORY soap and water...I used 3 tablespoons of the ivory soap and put it in a hand held spray bottle....I sprayed the plant twice a day....for a couple of days...and they went away! Its all natural and does not harm the plant in anyway!

Here's a good bug site What's That Bug? Insect identification
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Old 10-09-2009, 11:32 AM   #14 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Bugs On Bananas!!!

Randy, these are the same insects that were drilling my DLF. They left little pinpricks all over the midribs. I posted about it last week, but I can't remember which thread.
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Old 10-09-2009, 11:38 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: Bugs On Bananas!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicolas Naranja View Post
I am quite confused by the statement "tops of dwarf leaves that under male buds that constantly make nectar." but basically if you have a plant sucking insect it's excrement is going to be sugar rich honeydew, and sooty mold grows on honeydew.
Ok I'll try to better explain myself. I have some dwarf banana plants growing under the canopy of tall banana plants. When the tall plants bloom and I don't cut off the male buds they drip and make a mess on the leaves of dwarf plants which then get some sooty mold on them. Is this from the the nectar of the male flowers dripping on them? I don't get it anywhere else in the garden.
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Old 10-09-2009, 01:44 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Default Re: Bugs On Bananas!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by momoese View Post
Ok I'll try to better explain myself. I have some dwarf banana plants growing under the canopy of tall banana plants. When the tall plants bloom and I don't cut off the male buds they drip and make a mess on the leaves of dwarf plants which then get some sooty mold on them. Is this from the the nectar of the male flowers dripping on them? I don't get it anywhere else in the garden.
If you don't see any insects, that is the likely source.
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Old 10-09-2009, 06:41 PM   #17 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Bugs On Bananas!!!

UPDATE!!! Just wanted to let you know it has been identified by our own BIGDOG!!!! It is a Asian Wooly Hackberry Aphid. From my understanding they should not be a problem on my bananas as they feed on... you guessed it.... Hackberry! Just wanted to let you folks know in case you want to google image it...
Thanks, BigDog!!!
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