The Q&A Archives: Clamatis Has A White Line Like A Worm Crawling In Its Leaves

Question: i don't know what it is or how to kill it but it went from the ground plants to the plants on my deck. It looks like a white line curling inside the leaves of my plants then the leaves just curl up. I don't see any sign of bugs on top or under the leaf. It killed my clamatisis and i'm afraid it will kill my roses. I have to contend with black spot as soon as the snow melts i'm going to clean all around them.Back to my other problem, did this thing kill the roots of my plants? I kept picking off the infected leaves but that didn't seem to help. It's like its inside the leaves?????!!!!!HELP Thank you!

Answer: It sounds like those are the tunnels of the leaf miner. This insect lays an egg in the leaf which hatches into a larvae that tunnels between the upper and lower leaf surface. After a time, it eats through the leaf and drops to the ground to pupate and emerge as an adult to repeat the cycle. You'll notice the tracks start small and get larger as they go. The growing larvae is at the big end!

Leaf miners usually do not warrant control. Their feeding does little damage to a plant. It is also difficult to control them as the larvae are protected inside the leaf. Keep your plants healthy and growing, and they'll replace lost leaf area with new leaves.

They have natural enemies which seem to keep them from becoming epidemic. Some gardeners with just a few plants will check their plants as they work in the garden and squish the larvae (remember they're at the big end of the tunnel) with their finger and thumbnail.

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