The Q&A Archives: pest control

Question: I recently potted two columbines this spring. About 2-3 weeks ago I noticed

Answer: Leaf miners are fairly common on columbines and while they make the leaves look unattractive, they won't hurt the plant. Sevin will not control leaf miners. Leaf miners are the larvae of a small moth or fly that feed by removing green tissue from between the upper and lower surfaces of leaves. You can pinch, or pick and destroy, infested leaves to kill the larvae, and to reduce the population of future generations. If you can encourage beneficial predators, such as lacewings and spiders, to take up residence in your garden, the beneficials will help keep the leafminer populations down. If you have a variety of plants in your landscape so that there's something blooming at all times, you'll provide the perfect environment for a multitude of beneficials. In the meantime, just pick off the leaves of your columbines if they develop the tell-tale trails of leafminers. Or, just leave the affected leaves alone. As long as they have some green on them, they are busy providing energy to the roots of the plant through the process of photosynthesis.

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