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Banana Plant Health And Maintenance Topics This forum is for discussions of banana plant health topics such as coloration issues, burning, insects, pruning, transplanting, separating pups, viruses, disease, and other general banana plant health and maintenance issues.


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Old 03-25-2009, 05:49 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default Mealybug Help, Please!

Hi, I'm new. I'll post an intro elsewhere at somepoint.

In the meantime... I have 2 dwarf Cavendish Bananas that I grow in pots indoors, and I noticed mealey bugs on them 2 months ago. I've been using a spray and it hasn't worked well (they're hiding in the crevices in the stem methinks).

So I am thinking about using a systemic pesticide. Here is where things get complicated... I originally got the plants so I could give the bananas to my cockatoo (she loves bananas). If I treat the plants systemicly will it effect the fruit and make them poisonous? I really don't want to kill my bird.

Also, are there safer alternatives for treating mealybugs?


thanks in advance!
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Old 03-25-2009, 06:11 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Mealybug Help, Please!

I have no experience with mealybugs but found that some use a coffee spray. You'd just have to figure out if your bird wants it with sugar or cream.

http://www.cycad.org/documents/Broome-Coffee-2007.pdf

see page 2 last paragraph.

If he/she has a preponderance to tobacco you could try this method:

Cactus and Succulent Society of America - Mealy Bugs

Disclaimer: I have no experience with mealy bugs nor the use of coffee or tobacco for their eradication. I will say I partake of coffee every morning and tobacco on occasion and have never been afflicted with an outbreak personally.

Welcome to the org and pardon my humor. I'm sure someone here will jump in and help out with the bug problem. I would like to hear if the coffee treatment or tobacco work.

Michael
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Old 03-25-2009, 06:27 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Mealybug Help, Please!

I drink a ton of coffee too. perhaps that is why I don't have mealybugs....
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Old 03-26-2009, 09:00 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Mealybug Help, Please!

I wouldn't risk it. Birds can be very sensitive to chemicals. Not an expert but worked briefly for pet store when I was young. Talk to the folks at your pet store they'll probably agree. What have you used for the mealy bugs so far?
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Old 03-26-2009, 09:24 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Joy Re: Mealybug Help, Please!

If I am not wrong, where your 'naners are situated, the air flow is pretty bad. This is the perfect environment and breeding ground for the mealy bug. The best remedy is to move your plants to an area with good air flow.
The bugs are easy to deal with. Flush them off with a good pressure hose. Once the plants are clean of the pest and in the right environment, they won't come back.

Dwarf Cavs have a very compact leaf arrangement and coupled with the bad air flow when kept indoors, you will have an ever present bug headache.

Over here, I sometimes have this problem with the dwarf fruiting (Bob, correct spelling here) varieties which I keep in front of my house. This is caused by me having too many plants there. When kept in the open at my nursery, none of my plants have any problems.
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Old 03-26-2009, 09:51 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Mealybug Help, Please!

If I were you I'd
read the AZ41 thread.
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Old 03-26-2009, 01:24 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Mealybug Help, Please!

I have used a tequilla water mix with tremendous success. About 1/2 oz of tequilla to a liter of water in a spray bottle seems to dry the little suckers right up. I think there would be no liquor left after the evaporation so birdie would be fine.
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Old 03-26-2009, 07:24 PM   #8 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Mealybug Help, Please!

Quote:
Originally Posted by cedardave View Post
I have used a tequilla water mix with tremendous success. About 1/2 oz of tequilla to a liter of water in a spray bottle seems to dry the little suckers right up. I think there would be no liquor left after the evaporation so birdie would be fine.
TEQUILA!!!!!!!!


ĄDios en cielo! Hope you're not using a good blue agave!

For drinking yes, but you can get the same effect and save the good stuff for yourself. Many years ago I learned of the formula 10:1, water to rubbing alcohol. A lot cheaper too.

Start by using Tog's advice of hosing down the plant well. If you can't hose it down, try at least to spray it well with water first, rinsing off as much of the white stuff as possible. Let it dry out a bit, put the mixture in a spray bottle and mist the plant on every surface you can get to, including the soil, the stem and especially in those little nooks and crannies where the leaf sprouts. This would be tough on a big plant, but you should be able to do it with the DC. Wait about 10 days and repeat the process.

It is a weak solution so the alcohol will not harm banana plants and yet still dries up the little buggers. I use it on orchids which are far more sensitive. The alcohol evaporates almost immediately. You might still want to wash off the plant again after about half an hour, but it's not really necessary.

Just as Tog says, the key is to getting good airflow around the plant. Use a fan on a low setting if necessary for an hour or so each day until you are sure the infestation is gone.

Good luck!

Drinks are on Dave!
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Old 03-26-2009, 07:30 PM   #9 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Mealybug Help, Please!

You could also try mealy bug destroyers. It may be a fun thing to watch.
These guys are so specialized that they lay their eggs only in cottony masses left by mealy bugs and their larvae look like mealy bugs.....er...from what I've read. I want to try them just to see em' at work.

Last edited by Lagniappe : 03-26-2009 at 07:56 PM.
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