March 2010. A question on how to control populations of mealybugs in a banana plantation in the Cameroon.
A few suggestions were given by a member from India (not all for banana plantations):
There are few tips which one can use to control the mealy bugs as:
1. Dimethoate can be combined with water, according to the directions on the package. Dimethoate can be purchased at most garden centers. Due to the waxy outer covering of mealybugs, it will take several treatments to get rid of the problem and kill all of them.
2. For mealybugs that have infested the root system, mix dimethoate with water and drench the soil several times over the course of a few weeks, until the problem has gone. If the plant is in a pot, put the potted plant in a bucket large enough to contain the pot and then fill the bucket with a mixture of water and dimethoate. Leave to soak for at least an hour.
3. Though time consuming, you can use a small paint brush (such as those that come with children’s water colour sets) and apply an insecticide that contains Malathion to each individual mealybug to kill them. This will get rid of the problem without burning or otherwise damaging the plants, especially helpful with mealybugs on cactus or other succulent plants.
4. Use a mixture of warm water and dish soap. Mix approximately 1 tablespoon of soap per one pint of water. Use a sprayer to apply the mixture while the water is still warm. The soap will help penetrate the waxy coating and will kill the mealybugs. Some mealybugs may be underground when treating and killing the first batch, so it’s important to retreat about one week after the first treatment.
5. Use jalapeno juice, tabasco sauce, or a mixture of hot water and cayenne pepper. Parasites that infest plants in the garden can often be eradicated with simple pepper juices. Woolly aphids can often be killed with garlic as well, so try it on the mealybugs.
6. Rubbing alcohol and soap. Mix straight rubbing alcohol (no water), and 1/2 a teaspoon of dish soap. The dish soap works by breaking down the waxy coating, and the rubbing alcohol will dehydrate the mealybugs and kill them.
7. Other soaps diluted 1 tablespoon to 1 pint water. Besides dish soap, you could mix water with the Murphy’s Oil Soap or Dr Bronner’s organic peppermint soap. Not only will these kill mealybugs, but it will keep other pests away, because parasitic insects don’t like the strong scent of peppermint.
1) Metarhizium: It is a fungal biopesticide. If used in liquid form, Metarhizium anisopliae can be used for the control of the crop pests, like white grubs, beetles, bugs, semi-loopers, caterpillars, cutworms, mealybugs, brown planthoppers, aphids, Pyrilla, etc.
2) Azadin Plus (Azadirachtin) 300ppm/0.03% EC: Neem is an oil-based botanical anti-feedent biopesticide/repellent, which controls all types of leaf eating caterpillars, and scraping types of insects in many crops, including paddy, coconut, vegetables, pepper, cardamom, banana, ginger, cotton, etc.
3) Wood vinegar, diluted 200:1. (It also stimulates fruiting on Jatropha).
4) EM, with garlic, chilli: Diluted 200:1. (EM is presumed to be Effective Microorganisms).