The Q&A Archives: Leaf Miners On Tomatoes

Question: Is there a way to get rid of leaf miners on (in) tomato plants, other that cutting off the leaf? It seems they just show up on another leaf.

Answer: Unless your plants are heavily infested, leaf miners should not have much effect on fruit quality or yield. You can cover the young transplants with a floating row cover early in the season to prevent the flies from laying eggs on the leaves in the firstplace. To discourage leaf miners, (and many other pests), practice good sanitation: clean up all plant debris throughout the season (prunings, etc.). At the end of the season gather all infested plant debris and destroy it. Early in the growing season, you can inspect plants regularly for leaf "mines"--these indicate the presence of a growing larva inside--and pluck these leaves and destroy. Of course once the plants are infested, you can't pluck all those leaves! Some research has shown thattomato plants can absorb the organic insecticide Neem from soil drenched with diluted solution, and this kills miners in the leaves. This is a last-ditch solution that should only be used if your experience shows that miners dramatically reduce your tomato yields.

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