Integrated Pest Management for Bunchy Top
  • The recommendation of the Hawaii Department of Agriculture and the University of Hawaii is that banana growers should be in a management and containment mode with BBTD using integrated pest management (IPM) tactics as described below; it is deemed not possible at this time to eradicate the BBTD disease from most of the affected areas
  • Click here for a copy of the Hawaii Banana Pest Management Strategic Plan [PDF]
Integrated Pest Management (IPM) for Banana Bunchy Top Disease (BBTD) in Hawaii Who should use the IPM tactic
IPM tactic Goal of IPM tactic Farmer Residential
Plant disease-free plants (all bananas are susceptible) Keeps the disease out of new area

tissue culture, indexing
tissue culture, indexing, seed
Long-term aphid control Reduces the spread of disease within and between locations by eliminating the disease vector
approved insecticides
insecticidal soap
Frequent scouting for diseased banana plants Reduces the spread of disease by removing source of disease
Immediate and proper destruction of diseased plants and wild patches, watch for diseased re-growth Reduces the spread of disease by eliminating source of disease within a healthy population

Roundup Ultra Max
Roundup Ultra Max, chopping and digging
Kill mats when a BBTV-infected plant is found, spray the surrounding plants with an aproved aphicide, destroy all banana plants in the affected mat, and consider the destruction of plants within a given radius of the diseased plant Reduces the numbers of potentially infected plants in the banana population; plants can carry the virus for up to 125 days without showing disease symptoms.
Destroy weed hosts for aphids Reduces vector population to minimize disease occurrence
herbicides, manual weeding
Control ants (difficult, costly and may be impractical) Reduces ant populations so that aphid populations will decrease due to lack of proteection from natural enemies

boric acid

boric acid
Biological control of aphids Uses predators and parasites to reduce populations of the banana aphid
Control aphids on alternate hosts Minimizes the banana aphid populations where they are colonizing nearby non-banana plants which host the banana aphid
Create banana-free buffer zone around farm (wild patches) Eliminates the only known wild host for the banana bunchy top virus within the vicinity of a farm
Roundup Ultra Max
Use wind breaks (tall plants) Reduces number of fly-in aphids
Avoid transport of banana plants or plant material

(Note: it is safe to move fruit).
Reduces the probability of spreading infectious aphids and diseased planting material to virus-free areas of Hawaii
Report new BBTD outbreaks Slows down the spread of BBTD in Hawaii
Support BBTD research Finds long-term solutions to the BBTD epidemic
Practice diversified agriculture Minimizes dependence upon single plant; reduces spread and impact of plant disease
Photographs are courtesy of the University of Hawaii and the Hawaii Department of Agriculture

Maintained by Scot Nelson:
Last Revised on September 12, 2006