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Plantwise Factsheets for Farmers
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Trapping banana weevils

Recognize the problem

The banana tree is the 4th largest crop in DRC and it is extremely important to take care of the tree when it is growing. The weevil is a black insect with a long nose. It is about the length of the nail on your small finger. It slows down the growth of the banana tree by burrowing into the trunk and laying its eggs. The young weevils damage the structure of the banana tree. You can see many small holes at the base of the tree between the roots and the collar, and sometimes underground. These holes weaken the tree, and it can even sometimes come crashing down. Also, the holes are entry points for secondary infections that can kill the tree

Background

Weevils live in the earth and like humid spots to lay their eggs. They can reach very high numbers in the rainy season.

Weevil trapping helps to reduce the numbers of weevils in the field that are attempting to lay eggs in the tree by attracting them to a humid and fresh environment. Fewer eggs will be layed in the healthy trees.

Management

Monitor the field every two to three days very early in the morning, or late at night. Do this from when you plant the seeds or seedlings until production. If you see some weevils near banana trees after digging around, or you already see some holes near the collar or near the roots at the base of the trunk:

  • Take a stem of an old banana tree (still fresh) that has already produced
  • Cut the stem to about the length of your arm. Cut this piece into two, lengthwise
  • Place them, face down near the infected banana tree, or in a ring around infected banana trees

Put one trap (composed of two pieces) around the infested banana trees and protect the other trees that are not affected by surrounding the affected zone with traps.

Monitor the field every morning thereafter to check on the traps. Once the trap has dried up, or if the weevils are burrowing into them, take them out of the field and burn them. Replace the traps until the end of the production season.

Scientific name(s) > Cosmopolites sordidus

The recommendations in this factsheet are relevant to: Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda

Authors: Gauthier Bushabu Bope, Ingenieur Agronome
Crop Protection Department (Direction pour la Protection et Production de Vegetaux)
email: gauthierbush2009@yahoo.fr
Edited by
Plantwise
Created in Democratic Republic of the Congo May 2014