When leaf miners attack your plants, they cause a dramatically dreadful appearance. Even worse, they can cause very serious damage.
This is why it’s very important to take steps immediately to get them under control the moment you begin to see symptoms of leaf miner predation.
In this article, we will discuss the symptoms to look for and share information on how to rid your plants of leaf miners. Read on to learn more.
What Are Leaf Miners?
There are number of different types of leaf miners, but the damage they do to plants is fairly uniform.
Adult leaf miners look like small black flies, but it is not these flies that do to your plants directly. What does damage your plants is the larva that these flies leave behind.
These larva live in the mid-tissue layers of a plants’ leaves. They are called miners because they mine the nutrients out of the leaves and create paths of emptiness in their wake.
If you do not get leaf miners under control, they will quickly skeletonize your plant leaves.
When you see their damage, swift action is imperative because once they have infested one crop, they will hang on infest crop after crop until they are reined in.
When these larva begin boring their way through the leaves of your plants, they will leave yellow, curvy lines in their wake. The insects may also leave unsightly blotches and spots on your plants’ leaves.
Below lists a few leafminer species which may cause an infestation in your garden.
Pea leaf miner (Liriomyza huidobrensis) – also called the American serpentine leafminer. The larvae infest on the leaves and stems of peas. It may also affect other range of vegetables.
Boxwood leafminer – This type of leafminer feeds on the upper and lower parts of a plant’s foliage. Signs of boxwood leafminer infestation include leaves turning yellow and drying making its victim look extremely unhealthy.
Beet leafminer – The adult fly resembles a regular housefly. The maggots of these insects tunnels through the leaves of Swiss chard, spinach beets and other related plants.
Citrus leaf miner – Small, light-colored moths that infest citrus trees such as lemons, limes, oranges, grapefruits and more. Although it is native to Asia, it currently causes infestation in Southern California gardens.
Spinach leafminers – They usually appear during spring and chooses young robins and daffodils as its favorite host plants. They lay eggs on the leaf surface and underside of a leaf where it pupate and spend most of its life cycle.
Tomato leafminer (tuta absoluta) – is a known serious pest found in tomato plants. The larvae feeds voraciously on crops and mines in stalks.