The Q&A Archives: Leaf Miner on Dianthus

Question: Besides picking off each individual leaf infected with Leaf Miner, are there any other ways of destroying this pest for example - with insecticides?

Answer: The difficulty in controlling leaf miner is that the adult visits the leaf, lays her eggs just under the surface of the leaf, and flies away. When the egg hatches into a little larvae and begins tunnelling, it's protected by the upper and lower tissues of the leaf. Applications of insecticides simply won't reach the leaf miner. There is a time when the larvae is vulnerable (when it crawls or drops down to the soil to pupate) but the timing would be almost impossible to predict. It's best to pinch off the affected leaves and destroy them. That way you're removing the immediate problem, plus preventing the next generation. Wish there were a more permanent solution!

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