Pest:Root Mealy Bug Of Banana

This is a major problem in Kerala. Colonies of root mealy bugs are seen all along the roots. Ants are associated with mealy bugs.


  • Mealy bugs drains sap from banana roots and the affected roots decay.
  • Ants spread the mealy bugs from root to roots of the same plant and also to the neighbouring plants.
  • The external symptoms manifested are yellowing of leaves, reduction in size of the leaves, curling and drying of leaf margin and breaking of leaves along the petiole base. Due to decaying of roots severely infested plants topple.

Procedure for Observation

Randomly select 5 plants from 10 cent plot. Observe for the presence of root mealy bugs.


Mere presence of root mealy bugs.

Control Measures

  • Incorporate neem seed kernel powder @ 50 g/plant in the baby pits in which suckers are to be planted.
  • Apply neem cake @ one kg/plant one and two months after planting in two equal spit doses.
  • Cow’s urine is good for managing root mealy bugs. Prepare a spray solution consisting of one lit of cows urine, 22 ml of quinalphos 25 EC and 10 lit of water. Drench the base of plants with this solution using a rocker sprayer after removing the swirl block from the nozzle. For drenching, 750-1000 ml of solution is required per plant depending up on the age of the plant.