Common Banana Damaging Pests: Symptoms, Treatment, Prevention, and Management

Welcome to our blog, where we delve into the world of common banana-damaging pests! Bananas are a beloved fruit worldwide but face their fair share of challenges from various pests. This article will explore the symptoms these pests cause and the best treatment options available. Additionally, we will provide valuable insights into prevention techniques and effective pest management strategies.

Common Banana Damaging Pests

Common Banana Damaging Pests

The most common damaging pests in banana crops in banana cultivation include the hard scale, fruit fly, bagworm, banana scab moth, banana rhizome weevil, and banana stem weevil. These pests pose significant threats to banana plants, causing damage to leaves, stems, and fruit, leading to yield losses and reduced quality. Banana plants are susceptible to several pests, including aphids, banana weevils, mites, and nematodes.

The melon aphid in various banana-producing countries causes damage by sucking sap from leaves and buds and can transmit plant diseases. Their sticky excrement leads to sooty mold growth. Chemical control should be used sparingly due to insect resistance. The banana weevil burrows into roots and stems, causing extensive damage and bacterial and fungal infections. Weak plants should be trimmed, and dead plant material removed. Mulching can prevent weevil egg-laying.

Spider mites and two-spotted mites, tiny spider-like creatures, suck fluids from leaves, resulting in fruit damage. Proper hydration and plant maintenance help control mite infestations. Nematodes, microscopic worms, feed on banana roots, leading to wilted leaves and brown lesions. Tilling the soil before planting can help eliminate nematodes. Other pests include the banana leaf-eating caterpillar and the banana aphid. Rust thrips, leaf thrips, flower thrips, The banana leaf and fruit scarring beetle, and the banana lacewing bug.

Banana Stem Borer Pests Attack on Banana Plant

Banana stem borer, The grubs of this pest feed on the leaf sheath tissues before boring into the pseudo stem. Their large numbers weaken the pseudo stem, causing rotting and potential tree breakage during strong winds. Adult insects also feed on decaying leaf sheath tissues.

Controlling the banana stem borer involves cultural methods such as uprooting and burning infested plants, maintaining cleanliness, and improving field sanitation. Inserting aluminum phosphate tablets into the thick basal regions of pseudo stems has also been suggested as a preventive measure. Chemical control includes periodic carbaryl (0.2%) or endosulfan (0.05%) spraying to keep the pest population in check.

Banana Weevil Pests Attack on Banana Plant

The banana weevil (Cosmoplites sordidus Germar) is a highly destructive pest of bananas, causing damage to both pseudo stems and rhizomes. This results in the pseudo stem becoming hole-ridden and destroying the rhizome’s growing point, leading to premature withering and the absence of new suckers. Affected plants bear undersized fruits, and weevil-created tunnels become breeding sites for bacteria and fungi, causing rotting. Adult weevils are stout with a length of 10-13 mm and black or reddish-brown bodies. 

Control Methods

  • Clean cultivation.
  • Destroying infected suckers.
  • Using uninfected suckers for planting.
  • Covering cut pseudo stems with soil.
  • Applying insecticides.

In case you missed it: Common Banana Diseases: Symptoms, Spread, Identification, Treatment, Control, and Management

Plantation of Green Bananas

Banana Aphids Pests Attack on Banana Plant

Banana plants commonly suffer from infestations by two types of aphids: Aphis gossypii, also known as the melon aphid, and Pentalonia nigronervosa, commonly referred to as the banana aphid. These aphids are found wherever bananas are grown and tend to gather under the outer leaf base on the plant’s stems or around the crown.

The banana aphid is particularly problematic as it transmits the banana bunchy top virus and cucumber mosaic virus. Integrated Management before spraying. Commercial production requires healthy suckers, rhizomes, or planting materials. Maintain orchard sanitation and clean culture. Spray seedlings with 0.06 percent dimethoate or 0.05 percent methyloxydemeton for post-planting infestation.

Banana Thrips Pest Attack on Banana Plant

Banana thrips are pests that feed on banana plants’ flowe