Banana tree - is this dirt or a bug?

GuyForgetFebruary 19, 2014

Hi, I've included some close-up pictures of what I've been seeing show up on my banana plant. It looks like dirt, but I've had this tree for several years and this is the first time I'm seeing this. If they are bugs, they don't seem to be moving.. I wash it off and it only shows up on newly emerging leaves

Edit: Of course just after I post this I find some pictures of aphids that look similar to this.. I have washed them off with an insecticide soap once. Do these live down inside of the plant? I guess I'll just have to keep spraying as they emerge if that's the case.

This post was edited by GuyForget on Wed, Feb 19, 14 at 9:12

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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

i cant focus on the pix..

but mostly likely aphids ... and its usually the new.. soft.. succulent parts.. as they are suckers ...

put it in the shower.. and blast them off ... i would cover the soil so as to not overwater the plant ....

or wipe them off... until you wipe out the population ...

or both ...

or use a systemic.. presuming you will never eat a banana off this plant ... if this is your final shot.. i would treat it outdoors when the temps are warm enough ...

do you have a magnifying glass??? .. what do you see???

use google on the suggested ID .... tons of info out there....


ps: if you have other plants around.. you will want to isolate this one..

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 9:12AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Guy, your observations are right! Aphids in several different stages. The white stuff is all of the tiny exoskeletons that they shed as they outgrow them.

I suggest that you mix up a solution of rubbing alcohol and water at the ratio of 1:3 (alcohol to water) and mist the plant occasionally. Yes, they will live and feed and multiply down in the folds of plants....and if they enter an egg laying stage, they can be very hard to locate.

Keeping them rinsed off with plain water, occasional treatments of insecticidal soap or the alcohol mist will keep them at bay. Just one aphid can repopulate your banana in an amazingly short time.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 4:45PM
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Thanks for the confirmation and suggestions.. I'll keep them washed off and mist with some rubbing alcohol.

This plant is starting to have some offshoots spring up and I notice the aphids on them as well. I'm going to take off the offshoots when I repot the plant this spring anyway, but would it damage the root system if I spray rubbing alcohol on the offshoots and soil to try to get the ones living down there (letting it sit for a few minutes and then rinsing it through)?

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 7:57PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

I wouldn't spray the roots or the soil.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 10:18PM
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