Pest Control Library: Leafminer

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By National Gardening Association Editors

Though many different insects are known as leafminers, the most common are the larvae of tiny black flies. They tunnel between the upper and lower layers of leaf tissue creating visible random trails, or mines, in the process. Adult flies lay eggs on the undersides of leaves. After hatching, larvae tunnel into leaves to feed, gaining some protection from predators there. They are pests of beetschardlettucepepperspotatoes, and spinach, as well as numerous ornamental plants.

  • Columbine leafminer damage. Photo courtesy Whitney Cranshaw, Colorado State University, Bugwood.org.
  • Control

    Protect leafy vegetable crops with a lightweight row cover. Pick off and destroy infested leaves. Encourage natural parasites that attack leafminers by not spraying pesticides.

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    This article is a part of our Pest Control Library.
    This article is a part of our Pest Control Library.
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