Pest:Banana Aphid

Pentalonia is important as this is the vector of virus causing bunchy top disease of banana. There are two forms of females - €“alate and apterous viviparous. There are no males. They breed parthanegenetically. Female brings forth 50 offsprings @ 3 young ones per day. Aphid occurs on banana plants in small to large colonies. They are found at the base and top portion of pseudostem and also on leaf axil in sheltered situations. The population of the aphid is high during early September to late January- more during September –October and December-January. Reduction in population starts from the end of January and remains low till the middle of June. Heavy rain reduces the population of aphids. Passive migration of winged aphids aided by wind occurs during September-October while active migration occurs during December –January.

Aphids feed by sucking. They secrete honey dew which serves as the medium for sooty mould growth. While feeding, the aphids acquire bunchy top virus in a non persistant manner. The importance of this pest is not as a direct pest of banana but as a vector of virus diseases of banana.

Procedure for Observation

Randomly select 5 plants at random from 10 cent plots and record the aphid population from leaf axil and plant base.


Mere presence of aphids.

Control Measures

  • Before planting spread lemon grass in the pit,(if available)
  • Apply cartap hydrochloride 4 G @ 25 g per plant, 20 days after planting. A second and third dose of the chemical are to be applied in the leaf axil @ 12.5.g each at 65 days and 165 days after planting.
  • Spray Verticillium lecanii to control aphid vectors @ 20 g or 5 ml /l at 25,65 and 165 days after planting . Where ever insecticides are applied 10 day gap should be given for biocontrol application.
  • Apply neemcake @ 1 kg in two equal splits at one and two months after planting.
  • Spray 2 % neem oil garlic emulsion directing the spray on leaf axil and base of the plant.
  • Predators of banana aphids include lady bird beetles (Symnus nubilus, Pseudaspidimerus circumflexa , Micraspes crocea, Menochilus sexmaculatus) Syrphids (Paragus serratus, Ascarina spp.) and a Hemerobid. Protect these natural enemies.