Tiny white bugs killing my banana plant....?

I'm now on my second plant after loosing the first to these pesky little things.

On the first plant (Sid) I didn't notice them until it was too late, I tried pesticides, warm soapy water etc but the damage was just too bad the the leaves and the poor thing didn't survive. The bugs also infected my orchid which after several treatments was free from them but the underside of all the leaves had a white tint where they were damaged by the bugs eating them. I guess as the orchid has thicker waxy leaves the damage wasn't so bad as it looked. No other plants in the house were affected thankfully.

A year on and we have bought a second banana plant (Sid 2) and I have put it in a bright window and been keeping a close eye on it expecting to see these bugs again. Nothing, until this morning when I noticed them on the underside of two lower leaves again. There were hundreds of them and they make a kind of random web. This time some were brown and some white, I guess the white ones are the mature ones and the brown the young?

If I left them they would cover the whole plant (18" tall 5 leaves) in a couple of days and there would be the web between the trunk and leaf stems and between the underside of the leaves and the tips where they curl down a bit. The bugs are no more than a millimeter long and I cant even take a photo of them with Macro on my camera they are so small!

I have just sprayed, gently wiped, re-sprayed and left the plant with Bayer Garden Provado Ultimate Bug Killer. There are sitll a few bugs crawling around so I have re-sprayed again.

Once the sun goes down I'll give it a REALLY go spray off with a hose pipe in the garden and then re-apply the bug killer.

So anyway, what the hell are these things and how can I beat them for good?! I refuse to lose another plant to them!!

Thanks in advace :)

4 Answers

  • 8 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Sounds like a clear case of a spider mite (Tetranychidae) invasion. Once your plants have caught them, it's challenging to get rid of them.

    These pests are, as the name indicates, related to spiders. They live and reproduce in relatively dry conditions. Spider mites are not likely to show up in humidity over 50%. Maybe you should consider spraying your plants with water more often?

    In my gardening institution they use biological pest control methods and buy insects that naturally prey spider mites (such as the predatory mite Phytoseiulus persimilis).

    Biological method can get quite expensive though, so you might want to try something else. You've already put up a good fight against them. I have heard that repeated thorough wash of the plant will help on some occasions. It's also extremely important to keep the humidity high. Also, try to keep your plant separated from other plants and try not to handle your healthy plants shortly after touching the infected one.

    I've been using pyretrine mainly, but the pest control chemical (active ingredient - thiacloprid) you use seem like a proper one too. I'd keep treating the plant with it.

    Keep on fighting and good luck! :)

    Source(s): I am a florist in-train and houseplant collector.
  • orazio
    Lv 4
    3 years ago

    Tiny White Spiders On Plants

  • 8 years ago

    You have spider mite and they are impossible to get rid of but you can control them. Most bug killers don't work. The best thing is a good forceful spray with the hose and insecticidal soap. Some say Neem oil works too.

    Except for the spray with the hose you can use the other products in the house. Insecticidal soap and Neem oil are environmentally friendly and contain no chemicals. The next time you buy a plant inspect it closely before you bring is home. The site below shows pictures of these pests and their damage and gives you a little info.


  • Sounds like whitefly, I suggest that you go to a reputable garden shop or centre and they will be able to supply you with an insect killer specifically for these pests. I have had this problem with indoor herbs particularly and have beaten them!

    You will too, good luck.

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