Leaf miner on citrus

Citrus Leafminer

Describe yourself: I’m the tiny larvae of a beautiful silver moth, and am very rarely seen. That said, you can sure see my silvery trail of destruction, as I leave my squiggly tunnels all over the leaves of your favourite citrus trees!

Hobbies: Mama moth loves laying eggs on your fab citrus foliage, and can produce up to 15 generations of lovely leafmining larvae each year. Lovely larvae live to mine, and this produces some super squiggly silver tracks all over the leaves of your citrus

Likes: I adore citrus trees of all kinds, especially lemons, limes (native and exotic) and orange trees. I love laying eggs, especially on the midrib of the foliage of your favourite fruit trees, and knowing my beautiful larvae are growing big and strong inside your foliage. I especially like when all my babies make their silvery tracks on your leaves…..it makes a mother so proud! And I love to get started when there is fresh new foliage available.

Dislikes: Parasitic wasps and lacewings really bother me, as do a number of low environmental impact horticultural oils. Diligent gardeners who pull off and dump infested leaves into the bin also make me sad.

You’ll know you’ve met me when: The leaves of your citrus are covered in squiggly silver trails, and, if the infestation is pretty bad, the leaves may appear to curl and become distorted. These curled leaves allow my larvae to pupate and become grown ups….ready to fly and infest again!

Old School Control Methods: Really hideous chemicals registered for commercial growers only.

Breaking up ain’t hard to do… if:

  • Remove all affected leaves as soon as you see them. This means inspecting new growth, especially in spring. Although moth numbers are low then, new growth, especially on young trees, is much more vulnerable. The mines are not as obvious as later in the season, but if you inspect trees closely and see about 10% of leaves with mines, the leaves should be removed. Place the removed foliage into a plastic bag and leave it out in the sun, or dispose of it in the bin. Do not compost these leaves, otherwise your compost bin may become a nursery for more leafminer!
  • Encourage natural predators like lacewings and parasitic wasps to your garden by increasing your backyard biodiversity. Otherwise, consider purchasing some of these guys where all good bugs are sold!
  • Spray with horticultural oil to deter mama moth from laying new eggs. The oil won’t kill the larvae which is why it’s important to inspect trees early in the season and remove any infested growth. Spray first thing in the morning to avoid spraying beneficial insects which are less active at this time. This also reduces the chance of burning foliage. Have a look at the Garden Product Guide – Safe for You ‘n’ Nature for a number of suitable low environmental impact products.

Banner image: Ana Keliikuli, from Scot Nelson, Flickr

JOSH BYRNE: Look at this. My cumquat is under attack. The culprit is citrus leafminer and the cumquat is no orphan because these pests go for all varieties of citrus, including some of our native species.

Citrus leafminer is a warm weather pest. The adult is a tiny, night flying moth with a wingspan of only five millimetres. But it’s not the moth that actually does the damage. It’s their larvae. Eggs are laid on new leaves where they hatch and then tunnel or mine their way through the leaves leaving a squiggly silver trail in their path.

The result is leaves get distorted and can’t properly photosynthesise. This won’t kill your trees, but they will be stunted, reducing yield. When fully grown, the larvae will curl the leaf round for protection while they pupate. This cycle only takes two to three weeks, so there’ll be numerous generations in a season.

They do have natural predators like parasitic wasps and lacewings, but unfortunately they’re not always around. Thankfully, there’s a simple way to control them yourself.

Like most citrus pest problems, this one can be dealt with organically, provided you get in nice and early. Now the first step is to cut off any damaged leaves or tack leaves where the pupae’s actually growing. Cut that off including any curled or rolled leaves that might be hiding the pupae.

Tender new growth is the most vulnerable to attack because it’s soft and sappy. In fact if we open up that leaf, you can see the little critter just there. Spraying with horticultural oil will deter the moth from laying new eggs. Now it won’t actually kill the larvae which is why it’s so important to cut off any infested growth. You can buy certified organic oils like this one from any good garden centre or you can also make your own with things you probably have in the cupboard. Just a cup of ordinary vegetable oil, a teaspoon of liquid detergent. Dilute 40 to 1 with water, mix well and spray.

Spray first thing in the morning to reduce the chance of burning foliage and when beneficial insects are less active.

STEPHEN RYAN: Autumn is a time of the year when there’s lots and lots to do in the garden. So here’s Sophie in Adelaide to give us some very timely advice.

Control Citrus Leaf Miner – Treatment

How to control Citrus Leaf Miner
Citrus leafminer (Phyllocnistis citrella) tunnels through the young leaves of citrus trees which creates silvery lines. Finally, it curls the leaf into a shelter and pupates within. This can severely distort the leaves, but mature trees are not likely to be seriously damaged. To protect young trees, spray new growth thoroughly with Searles Pest Gun.

The presence of this pest can be identified by the silvery lines it leaves on leaves. These are the tunnels left by the larvae as it ‘mines’ its way through the insides of the leaf. Leafminers can cause a lot of damage to trees and the leaves will become severely distorted. When the larvae are fully grown, they curl the leaf edges and shelter inside the curled section. To control citrus leafminer, use Searles Pest Gun, spraying the affected foliage only. Keep a close monitor for more activity and spray again whenever new leaf damage is spotted.

For a fully organic alternative to control citrus leaf miner on citrus leaves, spray with a Ecofend Fruit & Garden Insect and Scale Spray.

Tomato leaf miner

An additional host plant of Tuta absoluta is the potato plant but not the tuber! Damages reported on other Solanacaea species or tobacco are much less serious.

Where does tomato leaf miner occur mostly?

Tomato and potato are among the most widely cultivated vegetables in Europe as well as worldwide. Production of several of these crops is threatened by infestation of the invasive tomato leaf miner Tuta absoluta. The pest is originating from South America and is now invading field and greenhouse production sites in Europe. Since 2006, the tomato leaf miner has rapidly spread across southern Europe and the Mediterranean area, including Spain, Portugal, France, Italy, and Northern Africa. The insect has also been found in commercial greenhouses in the Netherlands, United Kingdom, Germany and several other countries.

What are the economic consequences of tomato leaf miner?

Tomato is grown on 272,500 ha in Europe and tomato leaf miner is a main pest in the Mediterranean growing areas. Tuta absoluta reduces yield and fruit quality of tomatoes grown in greenhouse and open field. Attacked tomato fruits lose their commercial value. Losses of 50–100% have been reported on tomato (EPPO, 2005). On potato, Tuta absoluta is considered as one of the major foliar pests, occurring in warm zones of low altitudes (below 1000 m) (CIP, 1996).

How can tomato leaf miner be controlled?

For control of tomato leaf miner, chemical insecticides have been applied and biological control strategies have been evaluated. However, Tuta absoluta already shows resistance to many chemical insecticides. Tomato leaf miner is currently controlled by spraying specific synthetic insecticides.

Use of pesticides

As larvae are internal feeders it is difficult to achieve an effective control through application of chemical insecticides. Moreover, tomato leaf miner can rapidly evolve strains with resistance to insecticides that have been previously effective. Failure by synthetic insecticides has also been reported in many countries.

BIOCOMES biological control agent

As many tomatoes are grown under non-chemical control regimes and in greenhouses where application of chemical insecticides has been abandoned, the development of efficient biological control tools is essential. Some satisfactory results have been achieved with application of predators and parasitoids with entomopathogenic nematodes, as well as with the spraying of Bacillus thuringiensis products. However, more efficient bio-control agents need to be developed and reliable control strategies have to be established.
Isolates of the entomopathogenic baculovirus PhopGV will be selected for their virulence to tomato leaf miner, potato tuber moth and Guatemalan potato moth.

Photo: Tomato leaf miner. Picture: Marja van der Straten, NVWA Plant Protection Service, Bugwood.org.

Found in greenhouses, home gardens and landscaped areas across the country, leafminers are the larval (maggot) stage of an insect family that feeds between the upper and lower surfaces of leaves. On heavily infested plants it is not uncommon to find 6 or more maggots per leaf. Although damage can restrict plant growth, resulting in reduced yields and loss of vigor, healthy plants can tolerate considerable injury. Host plants include beans, blackberries, cabbage, lettuce, peppers, and a variety of ornamental flowers, citrus trees and shrubs.


Adults (1/10 inch long) are often black to gray flies with yellow stripes and clear wings. They are similar in appearance to small, hunched-back house flies and lay their eggs on the undersides of leaves. Larvae are worm-like maggots (1/3 inch) which are often pale yellow or green in color. They create winding tunnels that are clear, except for the trail of black fecal material (frass) left behind as they feed.

Note: In some cases, pathogenic fungi and bacteria may enter old mines left from eradicated insects. This can cause leaves to turn yellow and drop.

Life Cycle

Mature larvae overwinter in the soil under host plants. As temperatures warm in the spring larvae pass to the pupal stage and appear as young adults in late April. Mated females use their needle-like ovipositor to lay up to 250 eggs just under the surface of the leaf epidermis. Deposited eggs may appear as small raised spots on the leaf. Within 10 days hatching larvae tunnel through the mid-leaf tissue, feeding as they go and leaving tell-tale wavy lines that are visible on the surface. Larvae mature in 2-3 weeks, and when ready to pupate, leave the leaf and drop to the soil. Once on the ground, they dig 1-2 inches into the soil and pupate. Adults emerge within 15 days as adult flies. There are several generations per year.


Various types of leafminers attack various kinds of plants. They’re found on broadleaf trees, including elm, aspen, hawthorn, and poplar as well as shrubs and bushes, including lilacs. Damage can be limited in initial stages of infestations but increase as leafminer numbers multiply, and even minor infestations, while not killing a plant, will cripple its hardiness. Leafminers are a major cause of poor harvest numbers in home gardens as they weaken individual vegetable plants. They’re especially fond of spinach leaves and their tunneling severely decreases the attractiveness and value of the crop.

How to Control

Natural, and organic control methods work best when fighting leafminer problems. That’s because they don’t harm the naturally occurring beneficial insect populations that largely keep the leafminer and other harmful pests under control. While pesticide use can encourage leafminer outbreaks, natural controls and beneficial insects prevent as well as cure these pest problems. Don’t wait until you spot leafminer tunnels in your plants’ leaves, especially if you’ve had problems with them in the past. Be prepared with the products you’ll need to prevent and destroy infestations. Then stay vigilant.

  1. Monitor plant leaves closely. At the first sign of tunneling, squeeze the leaf at the tunnel between two fingers to crush any larvae. Done soon enough, this killing larvae can allow plants to survive minor outbreaks. Pick off and destroy badly infested leaves in small gardens.
  2. The more healthy the plant, the less chance that leafminers will hurt it. Maintain plant health with organic fertilizers and proper watering to allow plants to outgrow and tolerate pest damage. Keep your soil alive by using compost and other soil amendments.
  3. Use floating row covers (Harvest-Guard) to prevent fly stage from laying eggs on leaves.
  4. The parasitic wasp Diglyphus isaea is a commercially available beneficial insect that will kill leafminer larva in the mine. The wasp is especially beneficial to indoor growers of ornamentals and vegetables.
  5. Use yellow or blue sticky traps to catch egg laying adults. Cover soil under infested plants with plastic mulches to prevent larvae from reaching the ground and pupating.
  6. Safer® BioNeem contains azadirachtin, the key insecticidal ingredient found in neem oil. This concentrated spray disrupts growth and development of pest insects and has repellent and antifeedant properties. Best of all, it’s non-toxic to honey bees and many other beneficial insects.
  7. Fast-acting botanical insecticides should be used as a last resort. Derived from plants which have insecticidal properties, these natural pesticides have fewer harmful side effects than synthetic chemicals and break down more quickly in the environment.

Note: Pest outbreaks often occur after general pesticide applications. This is because many of the pest’s natural enemies are affected by the pesticide.

The ideal situation. The odd leaf miner here and there keeps the minute parasitic wasps in balance.
Photo: Bill Kerr

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The first to arrive was the American serpentine leaf miner (Liriomyza trifolii). It attacks many crops, including a wide range of weeds, and has a penchant for tomatoes. It is a big problem in warm areas especially. The fact that it has such a wide range of hosts is actually an advantage, though. When it breeds in weeds, this leaf miner also becomes host to a number of parasitoids. These are perfectly able to keep the numbers down in most cases. So where L. trifolii enters a host crop land together with the parasitic wasps, they have the capacity to control it.

The South American leaf miner (Liriomyza huidobrensis), also known as the pea leaf miner, was accidentally introduced here a number of years later. As with the American leaf miner, this species has a wide crop range. When it first arrived, it attacked my pumpkins, laying eggs on the dicotyledonous leaves. The larvae then tunnelled down the stems and killed off many plants. The leaf miners also got into my beans and would have destroyed the crop if I hadn’t intervened. By the time it started to attack my tomatoes, I had wised up to getting it under control.

Life cycle
The American leaf miner likes warmer conditions, while L. huidobrensis prefers a more temperate climate. Both species can be active in the same area. The adult American leaf miner is the smaller of the two flies. Both are dark with a conspicuous yellow dot on the back. The American leaf miner makes an irregular ‘serpentine’ track all over the leaves. This track gets ever wider as the larva grows while feeding on the tissue between the upper and lower epidermis of the leaf.

The South American leaf miner, meanwhile, gravitates towards the midrib of the leaf, where it prefers to feed. The life cycle is very rapid in warm conditions and can be completed in up to 17 days. Leaf miners can thus become a major threat in a very short period. Puncture marks can be seen on the leaves as white specks. These are made with the ovipositor and an egg can be deposited here, but most are used for feeding on the sap.

When these leaf miners first arrived, they were devastating, as they were resistant to a number of insecticides. The more modern formulations were effective, but their rapid life cycle enabled the leaf miners to build up resistance rather quickly where farmers didn’t rotate the chemical group used for the pest.

Many of the effective products were also found to be toxic to the parasitic wasps which naturally control the miners. It turned out that the most effective route is to adopt an integrated approach using insecticides which do little or no harm to the parasitoids and yet bring the leaf miner population to a manageable level. In most cases, you will be able to get sufficient control by parasitoids alone.

Very careful
You may start off with a leaf miner problem and, by adopting this approach, have the problem completely under control later on. It becomes more difficult when you need to control a host of other pests which are partial to the crop. You then need to be very careful that you use parasitoid-safe products. Before this pest even arrived, through experience, farmers had learned not to use pyrethroids to control caterpillars on their tomatoes as this would often cause a flare-up of spider mites which were kept under control by their natural enemies which were taken out by pyrethroids.

And yet there are exceptions. I once visited a farmer and, while waiting for him to finish a task, examined his crop. I noticed that he had a very healthy population of parasitoids.When he joined me, I remarked that I could see he used very safe products for caterpillar control. He replied that he’d been using the same pyrethroid for many years. Not even knowing they existed, he’d unwittingly bred a resistant population of parasitoids. To sum up: the ideal scenario is to have a low number of leaf miners to sustain a population of parasitoids at this level.

Contact Bill Kerr at with ‘Vegetable production’ in the subject line of your email.

Citrus leafminer’s distinctive damage to citrus leaves

Citrus leafminer (Phyllocnistis citrella) is a very common pest on citrus plants. The adult is a small moth (wingspan approximately 5mm) which lays eggs on flushes of new growth. Tiny grubs then hatch and burrow into the leaf. The larvae feed by tunneling their way around leaving tracks or mines (hence their name) all over the leaf. These tracks commonly look like silvery wobbly lines but may also look like a blister on the leaf. Leaves usually become quite distorted and curl up as the larvae start to pupate.

Leafminers are particularly damaging to young small trees and potted citrus. Damage to large established trees is generally regarded as superficial however there is some new research indicating their tunneling can allow diseases to infect plants.

Plants Attacked

All citrus plants are attacked by citrus leafminer including lemons, oranges, limes and the native finger limes. They can also attack other plants in the citrus family (Rutaceae), like murraya, but this isn’t as common.

Organic Control Methods for Citrus Leafminer

There are several options depending on how severe the outbreak is:

  • If possible remove affected leaves by hand and place in rubbish bin
  • Hang eco-CLM traps to capture males and reduce population levels
  • Spray new growth with eco-oil ensuring good coverage (top and bottom of leaves). Spray every 5-14 days whenever new growth is present to deter the moth laying fresh eggs.
  • Alternatively on ornamental citrus spray new growth with eco-neem. eco-neem will penetrate slightly into the leaf and actually kill the juvenile leafminer providing broader protection. Again apply every 5 to 14 days while new growth is present and ensure good coverage.

NOTE: Female citrus leafminers only lay eggs on early flushes of new growth. Whenever new growth is present employ the above methods to prevent or minimise damage and keep your citrus happy and healthy.

How To Rid Plants Of Leaf Miners

Leaf miner damage is unsightly and, if left untreated, can end up causing serious damage to a plant. Taking steps to rid plants of leaf miners will not only make them look better but will also improve their overall health. Let’s take a look at identifying leaf miners and how to kill leaf miners.

Identifying Leaf Miners

While there are several different kinds of leaf miners, for the most part, their looks and plant damage is similar. Leaf miners tend to be non-descript black flies. The flies do not directly cause damage to the plant; instead, it is the larva of these flies that causes the problems.

Most of the time, this pest is identified by the leaf miner damage. Frequently, it appears as yellow squiggly lines in the leaves. This is where the leaf miner larva have literally bored their way through the leaf. Leaf miner damage can also appear as spots or blotches.

Control Methods of Leaf Miner Pests

The most common method to rid plants of leaf miners is to spray general pesticide on the infected plants. The trick to this method of how to kill leaf miners is to spray at right time. If you spray too early or too late, the pesticide will not reach the leaf miner larva and will not kill the leaf miner flies.

To effectively rid plants of leaf miners with pesticide, in the early spring, place a few infected leaves in a ziplock bag and check the bag daily. When you see small black flies in the bag (which will be the leaf miner larva becoming adults), spray the plants daily for a week.

There are pesticides that are specific to killing leaf miners by actually be absorbed into the leaves of the plant. These leaf miner specific sprays can be used at any time of the year.

While pesticide is the most common form of control methods for leaf miners, it is not the most effective. Naturally killing leaf miners with beneficial bugs. You can purchase wasps called Diglyphus isaea from reputable nurseries. These leaf miner natural enemies will make a meal of the leaf miners in your garden. Be aware that spraying pesticides can kill these beneficial bugs (and other less commercially available leaf miner predators you may have naturally in your garden).

Another way of naturally killing leaf miners is to use neem oil. This insecticidal oil affects the leaf miner’s natural life cycle and will reduce the number of larva that become adults and thus the number of eggs that the adults will lay. While neem oil is not an immediate way how to kill leaf miners, it is a natural way to treat these pests.

Leaf miners: the hidden herbivores


T1 – Leaf miners

T2 – Australian Journal of Ecology

AU – Sinclair, Robyn Jean

AU – Hughes, Lesley

PY – 2010/5

Y1 – 2010/5

N2 – Leaf mining is a form of endophagous herbivory in which insect larvae live and feed within leaf tissue. In this review we discuss aspects of leaf miner ecology, and the current evidence for three hypotheses relating to the evolution of this feeding guild. We also present a summary of the literature coverage relating to these herbivores, which have been relatively poorly studied compared with insects that feed externally such as sap suckers and leaf chewers. The majority of published studies concern leaf miners from the northern hemisphere, with a general focus on those species considered to be agricultural, forestry or horticultural pests. In a more detailed case study, we examine aspects of leaf miner ecology of Australian species. At least 114 species have been recorded as leaf miners in Australia in four orders: Coleoptera, Lepidoptera, Diptera and Hymenoptera. Lepidoptera and Diptera are the most speciose orders of Australian leaf miners; Hymenoptera are represented by a single endemic genus and half of all coleopteran miners are species introduced for biological control. Both the known number of leaf-mining species in Australia and the known number of hosts have increased in recent years following new targeted surveys. Leaf miners in Australia occur in many habitats and feed on a wide variety of host plants in at least 60 families although most individual species are monophagous. Although much of the research on leaf miners in Australia has focused on species that are commercially important pests or biological control agents, studies on fundamental aspects of leaf miner ecology are increasing. We identify a number of research questions aimed at better understanding the ecology of leaf miners in Australia and elsewhere.

AB – Leaf mining is a form of endophagous herbivory in which insect larvae live and feed within leaf tissue. In this review we discuss aspects of leaf miner ecology, and the current evidence for three hypotheses relating to the evolution of this feeding guild. We also present a summary of the literature coverage relating to these herbivores, which have been relatively poorly studied compared with insects that feed externally such as sap suckers and leaf chewers. The majority of published studies concern leaf miners from the northern hemisphere, with a general focus on those species considered to be agricultural, forestry or horticultural pests. In a more detailed case study, we examine aspects of leaf miner ecology of Australian species. At least 114 species have been recorded as leaf miners in Australia in four orders: Coleoptera, Lepidoptera, Diptera and Hymenoptera. Lepidoptera and Diptera are the most speciose orders of Australian leaf miners; Hymenoptera are represented by a single endemic genus and half of all coleopteran miners are species introduced for biological control. Both the known number of leaf-mining species in Australia and the known number of hosts have increased in recent years following new targeted surveys. Leaf miners in Australia occur in many habitats and feed on a wide variety of host plants in at least 60 families although most individual species are monophagous. Although much of the research on leaf miners in Australia has focused on species that are commercially important pests or biological control agents, studies on fundamental aspects of leaf miner ecology are increasing. We identify a number of research questions aimed at better understanding the ecology of leaf miners in Australia and elsewhere.

KW – host species

KW – leaf mining

KW – northern hemisphere

KW – pest species

KW – southern hemisphere

UR – http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=77952922698&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 – 10.1111/j.1442-9993.2009.02039.x

DO – 10.1111/j.1442-9993.2009.02039.x

M3 – Article

VL – 35

SP – 300

EP – 313

JO – Australian Journal of Ecology

JF – Australian Journal of Ecology

SN – 1442-9985

IS – 3

ER –

Stop Leafminers

Leafminers are immature insects that feed between the upper and lower surfaces of leaves. The adults may be flies, moths, sawflies, or beetles. The female adult lays eggs on the leaf surface. When the larvae hatch they tunnel into the leaf and begin feeding. Leafminers attack all kinds of plants, from vegetables to fruits, flowers, trees, or shrubs, although each species of leafminer usually feeds on only one or two types of plants. In pines and other conifers, the pests are called needleminers.

Identifying the Pest

Leafminer larvae are tiny, and somewhat flattened to fit inside a leaf. As the larvae feed, they eat the green tissue inside the leaf, leaving a thin, winding trail covered by a papery sheath. The trail may contain small brownish black pellets of insect excrement, and if you look closely you may be able to see larvae. When numerous larvae are feeding in a single leaf, their tunnels may merge, creating large blotches.

Leafminer Control

Because they’re protected inside the leaf for most of their lives, it’s difficult to control leafminers with insecticidal sprays. However, damage caused by the pest is seldom severe enough to justify spraying except to make the plant look better. For ornamental plants, you can spray a systemic insecticide such as acephate to kill tunneling larvae. Carbaryl, neem, or pyrethrin is effective if sprayed just as the larvae are hatching. If you see large, merged tunnels, the larvae may have already completed their life cycles, making insecticidal sprays pointless.

Control is more important for leafy vegetable crops because feeding by the leafminers damages the edible portion of the plant. Protect vegetables from egg-laying adults by covering the plants with a floating row cover. Secure the edges of the row cover to the ground so that no adults can enter. Remove and destroy affected leaves.

Host Plants

Leafminers may attack many ornamental plants. Some of the preferred hosts are:

Arborvitae Aspen Azalea Birch Bougainvillea Boxwood Butterfly weed Chrysanthemum Columbine Cottonwood Delphinium Elm Holly Impatiens Juniper Lantana Lilac Locust Magnolia Oak Pine Verbena Water lily

Commonly affected food crops are:

Apple Beets Citrus Garlic Onion Spinach Swiss chard Tomato

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Leaf mining is referred to the infestations of several mines generating larval stages of insects that leave a slimy trail on the surface of the leaves while digging a curling mine into the leaf tissues. This tunneling pattern would be similar if the larvae of beetles, moths, flies or wasp are present inside the leaf tissue and feeding on the soft sap to retard the growth of gardening plants. There are almost 300 species of these insects that are placed in the leaf miner’s category while 5-6 species are treated as serious garden pests including Citrus leaf miner, Vegetable leaf miner, Tomato leaf miner and Chickpea leaf miner that are quite host-specific while they also affect the plants similar to their host plants.

Their infestations are more prevalent on the newly developed leaves having soft tissue that decreases when the leaf tissues become hardened. The larva of the infesting insect is difficult to notice as it survives inside the leaf tissue. Citrus leaf miner damages are also widespread during the first two years of growth and become less visible on aging. Upon heavy infestation, they retard the growth of plants, curl leaf margins and cause defoliation that may result in the death of plants. Later in the article, you will further read more description about how to identify leaf miners so before that let’s check some leaf miner treatment quickly.

How to kill leaf miners?

How to fight leaf miners involve several strategies that involve preventing, stopping and killing leaf miners during different stages of their development. Besides several biological and chemical control, you have also options to control them physical methods. After monitoring their infestation patterns & behavior, we know well about the larval damages and the process when they pupate to become adult and lay eggs either on the overturned leaf or on the soil if those leaves or pupa fall on the ground in the garden. Their hatching may take place in the soil and they will return to the plant foliage for their feed. It’s the best time to control them physically in the soil. Application of EasyGo Diatomaceous Earth on the surface of soil beneath the plant canopy along with its application on the surface of the leaves will do this trick for you.

#1 Natural Guard Spinosad Soap (Chemical – Editors’ Choice)

This soap contains Spinosad 0.1% along with Potassium salts of fatty acid up to 18.8 % in weight to volume composition that triggers its killing effect after making a combination of two strong active agents. It is highly effective in controlling heavily infested garden plants that are attacked by leaf miners, aphids and other chewing and sucking insects including caterpillars on your garden plants.

it kills pests on direct body contact within a few minutes whereas its label instruction recommends it for using on vegetables and fruits in residential gardens. Add 7 ounces in 1 gallon of water and spray your edible plants using a mist sprayer in the evening.

#2 BioLogic Scanmask Steinernema Feltiae-Beneficial Nematodes (Natural – Editors’ Choice)

BioLogic Scanmask contains superior nematodes from the parasitic species Steinernema feltiae. They are native to the US and raised inside the US as well that come in preposition of 42.5 % nematodes containing around 17% moisture in an enclosed icebox to maintain their quality and supremacy in the gardening biological control measures. Upon release into the garden, Steinernama nematodes search their host and penetrate into their bodies to release a bacteria which kills leaf miners, aphids, whiteflies and gnats along with 200 other pests and is a good development for small organic gardeners across the US.

5 million garden pack is sufficient to release in 20 square meters area while the Nem-Jet sprayer is best to use in the spraying process to maintain the efficacy and longevity of the control. Water your edible garden plants before and after spraying beneficial nematodes for the best control.

#3 Diglyphus Isaea – Parasitic Wasps (Natural Control)

This parasitic wasp ceases leaf miner damage due to its egg-laying capability inside the tunnel of the larva. Their larvae feed on larvae of leaf miners located inside leaf issues. Leaf miners larva gets paralyzed and fell easy for the larva of Diglyphus isaea whereas their Adults live on the adult leaf miners to prey. These parasitic wasps are highly effective against Tomato and Chrysanthemum leaf miners in any organic garden.

Ideally, they can be released in February for Greenhouse crops while for the outdoor garden plants April is recommended. They will successfully develop upon the presence of the reasonable number of leaf miner larvae on your edible garden plants. They are released gradually on plants i.e. 1 parasitic wasp for 1 square meter garden area for 3-4 consecutive weeks.

#4 EasyGo Products Diatomaceous Earth (Natural Control)

This food-grade DE contains several diatoms whereas the larva and pupa get entered into the tiny pores in DE and will never revert back to harm your lovely edible greens.

try for sure, it works superbly.

#5 Talstar One Termiticide Insecticide (Chemical Control)

Talstar 1 contains 7.9% Bifenthrin as its active ingredient that can be used to kill leaf miners away from their host plants when they are present on hedges, ornamental trees and shrubs in or around your garden space and are preparing to invade your garden in the late spring or summer. This product has certain restrictions to use it on edible plants like vegetables, fruits, and microgreens including herbs and Salad crops that are short maturing whereas it can be used on pears, oranges, apples, and hickory trees if your state agriculture department permits its application on these fruit trees.

Talstar 1 can be added from 0.2 ounces to 2 ounces in 1 gallon of water that depends on the infestations and type of pests needed to control. It is the best foliar spray that can be applied when the leaf miners are busy in making tunnels to the leaf tissues of your lovely gardening plants.

#6 Citrus Leafminer Traps (Organic Control)

These are pheromone traps that do not attract moths of other species other than Citrus leaf miners and is among Leaf miners organic control that doesn’t need any type of spraying on the plants.

This pheromone lure is framed with increased efficacy and longer field life that stays effective for 2-3 months in the citrus field. Similar lures are being used by the entomologists in both USDA and CDFA to monitor and trap moths of Phyllocnistis citrella.

The application is very simple. Just hang containers equal to the height of plant foliage.

#7 Sticky Thrip Leafminer Traps

This leaf miners organic control is in the frequent use of home gardeners who are afraid of using insecticides for leaf miners control. It can be hanged on the plants to attract every type of flying insects including leaf miners, aphids and whiteflies. It’s sticky, yellow and blue to attract and capture a variety of insects that feed on your edible greens, vegetables, and fruits.

Weatherproof makes it long-lasting even during the rain or showers in your organic garden. Keep this good looking leaf miners trap on the permanent basis to stop infestations of any sort of invading pests in your garden.

#8 Bonide-Neem Oil, Insect Pesticide for Organic Gardening

Bonide Neem Oil is ready to use leaf miner spray that contains 0.9 % neem in the diluted form. It is also an excellent fungicide and miticide along with its strong insecticidal properties to work against flying adults, their larva and eggs as well.

just pick up the spray bottle and point towards plants highly effected by leaf miners and other damaging insects on vegetables, fruits, and herbs plants in your organic garden. Moreover, it can be sprayed until the time of your harvest due to organic ingredients without fearing any residual effects.

#9 Bonide Pyrethrin Garden Insect Spray (Chemical control)

It contains 1% pyrethrin only while it is highly effective against the variety of leaf miners species including Citrus leaf miners, Cabbage leaf miners and Tomato leaf miners in the organic garden.

this product is generally recommended for indoor gardening especially greenhouse farming while it can be used on outdoor edible plants including the entire range of vegetables and fruits.

Add 1.5 ounce in 1 gallon of water and spray on the upper & middle foliage of plants infested with leaf miners. Prefer mist sprayer so that the droplets don’t run off the leaves of the plant because it contains a surfactant that adheres to the surface of the leaves for long-lasting control.

#10 Imidacloprid 0.5G systemic insecticide (Chemical control)

Imidacloprid 0.5% application performs much better if you are preparing the soil to grow your plants while it also works fine during or immediately after the leaf miners or other insects lay their eggs in your garden.

this systemic insecticide Granule is incorporated into the planting soil so that it is absorbed by the roots and translocated to the plant foliage to make them poisoned for sucking and biting insects and keeps them well in control for next 6 weeks. An application in the late spring and summers will stop larva to mine into the leaves of your favorite plants. It’s broad-spectrum insecticides that have certain limitations about its use on edible plants. Spread Granules on the soil surface according to overleaf manual instructions while 1.5-1.8 ounces are needed to spread in 100 square meter area.

#11 Asafoetida Yellow 100g (Hing) or Asafoetida Latex

Asafoetida is a common spice primarily use in Asian cooking especially Pakistan and India and is native to mountainous ranges of Afghanistan. Latex is extracted from the root of the plants and used for culinary purposes that add a significant aroma to cooked food.

Add 100 grams of latex or the dry powder in 1 pint of water and keep it boiling (5 minutes). Let it cool down to room temperature and add more water to make a 1-gallon solution. Keep this solution spraying on your garden plants using a hand-held pressure sprayer. Keep it repeating till your grown vegetables, fruits, herbs and microgreens get fully matured. It is organic and a natural remedy that will help you keep conventional insecticides away from your edible garden, forever. It deters leaf miners and kills eggs and larvae of a variety of garden pests.

What are leaf miners?

Leafminers are tiny are light-stained moth usually less than 1 centimeter long with lustrous grey forewings and black spotted wingtips. Wings may have white and brown spots while rare wings are white along with the body. The hind wings and body are white with long peripheral scales outspreading from the rare wings. The larvae exist inside leaf tissues that can’t be seen unless cultured but its salivary, twisting trails are visible on the surface of the leaves that help us identify its presence into the leaf tissue as twisting, swelling tunnels on the surface of leaf are characterized by leaf miner damage on plants. In the later developmental stages, the larva appears from the tunnel and travels to the leaf margins that turn the leaf around its body and heads toward pupation. The curly leaves drop from the plant either pupa inside the leaf or an adult. Egg-laying continues and generations keep on developing this way.

How to prevent leaf miners?

  • Work on the health and bloom of your edible garden to invite natural parasites, pollinators, and predators that live on the larva and adults leaf miners such as Pnigalio and Cirrospilus species along with planting Thyme, Marigold, Garlic and Chrysanthemums.
  • Never apply nitrogen fertilizers at the time of fruit set in vegetables and other edible plants since it gives rise to new shoots and that is the biggest attraction for leaf miners.
  • Try to either minimize all broadleaf vegetables and shrubs or closely monitor for the early infestations to take action against them.
  • Remove plant debris and infected leaves from your garden space.
  • Water your plants at regular intervals, never overwater and try to improve drainage.
  • Observe proper plant spacing and distances to stop their infestations.
  • If possible, apply protective plant covers to stop adults flying to your plants along with hanging leaf miners moth traps in your edible garden.

How to stop leaf miners?

How to stop leaf miners is fairly simple with this homemade leaf miner spray that works year-round and keeps infestation in control on all edible greens including vegetables, fruits, and herbs.

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