November 21st, 2005, 02:16 PM
Wow, this really is the "one stop shopping" site! I'm currently trying to fix (well attempt) a friend of mine's banana plant that's got what look like little cotton balls on it. I'm torn between treating it for spider mites or mealybugs, since depending on who you ask, the cottony stuff could be either. Thankfully he only has fish, no furbabies (mine don't visit often), so treating it is pretty much open season. Any suggestions?
November 21st, 2005, 02:31 PM
spider mites wouldn't do that, unless they got really bad. Sounds like mealy bugs.
DON'T USE CHEMICALS!
Mealy bugs develope resistance to chemicals really easily.
Try an insecticidal soap first, or Neem Oil. Just mix a strong mix with water and spray.
First, get rid of badly infected leaves, and wash the plant in the shower with a scrub brush to get rid of all the bugs you can. Mealy bugs are hard to kill as they don't absorb stuff through their shells. Get all you can off of the plant first, then spray it down with insecticidal soap.
November 21st, 2005, 02:59 PM
There's also a big nasty caterpillar thing -- I can't remember the name of the bugger but you can't miss 'em when you find 'em -- that will leave big fuzzy stuff all over your banana plant... But he'd only have taken up residence if the plant had been outside recently. We get them all the time in our banana trees and nothing helps other than finding the culprit by hand. Just in case - check for any leaves which have been 'rolled' or stuck together with the white cottony stuff and peel them apart to check for a vacationing caterpillar.