Thrips Control

Thrips are economic pest of banana and reduce fruit quality. They are small insects which feed on the peel of young banana fruits or flowers. There are two types of thrips found on bananas. They are:


  • · Red rust thrips
  • · Flower thrips


Red rust Thrips

Damage from the red rust thrips (Chaetanophothrips orchidii) appears as distinctive reddish brown discolouration on the fruit peel, usually found between the fingers. The discolouration reduce the market value of the fruit, though not its eating quality.

In extreme cases, the peel may be rough and cracked. Colonisation of the fruit occurs mainly when the fingers turn up (pointing away from the ground) and touch the other fingers, providing the necessary shelter. The feeding damage caused by this thrips is manifested as a rust coloured stain believed to be the physiological response of the fruit to the feeding of the thrips.

Flower Thrips

Flower thrips (Frankliniella parvula) are small winged insects which cause small pimple-like, abrasive, raised areas on the peel of the fruit. Infestation occurs in the very early stages of bunch development when the thrips are able lay their eggs in the soft peel of the young banana fingers. These oviposition sites quickly turn black and increase in size as the fruit develops. The fingers of lower hands, which are the youngest on the bunch, are most severely attacked. The oldest hands are affected first, but as successive layers of bracts peel away, access to younger hands become easier.

Control Measures

Measures of control for red rust and flower thrips include:


  • · Good field sanitation
  • · Early sleeving (i.e before the flowers open) with insecticide impregnated sleeves (use sleeves that are longer than the bunch
  • · Removal  of navel (i.e breaking by hand to prevent spread of other bacterial infections) as soon as the last hand emerges and chopped into pieces to promote drying
  • · Early Deflowering  (removal of the flowers when the bunch is young and the fingers are horizontal)


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Contact Information
Banana Board
10 South Ave
Kingston Gardens
Kingston 4, Jamaica
Tel: (876) 922-5490
(876) 922-4327

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