Leaf Miners: The Guide
Plant pests or pests are among the most annoying and difficult problems to solve in indoor and outdoor cultivation, so it is advisable to prevent any infestation. In this article we will talk about how to prevent and eliminate leaf miners, also called (mistakenly) leaf miners.
How common is that?
Foliar miners are not common in indoor gardens, the leaves outside are attacked occasionally, but it is still a pest, which must be kept under control to avoid infestations.
Where are they and when?
Foliar miners – or lepidoptera larvae – are generally found on the top of the leaves and inside the tissues.
What they look like: Lepidoptera larvae, flies and cockroaches
Foliar miners are normally the larval form of various species of flies, lepidopterans and cockroaches. These very small larvae are worms about 3 mm long, white or green in colour. The adult forms are small flies about 2 mm long.
What does it do to the plant?
The appearance of the leaves is as if someone had engraved scribbles on them. As they feed and dig the leaves they lay their eggs deep down and continue to multiply. When they hatch, the larvae feed on the leaves until they are big enough to become pupae. The transformation takes place inside the leaf and once they emerge they repeat the cycle tripling and form a large infestation. The leaf miners leave the leaves open to pathogens and fungi, moreover – when they dig – in the leaves they create a reaction in the plant that emits sugary molasses that attracts ants and fruit flies.
In outdoor cultivation it is possible to plant useful plants such as wild spinach at the edge of the garden to discourage pests. Among the products useful for the prevention of attacks by foliar miners are foliar sprays containing plant extracts and phenols such as Vebi BIO 3 in 1 or alternatively you can make a treatment (above and below the leaves) with Neem Oil.
How to eliminate pests
Getting rid of the leaf miners is a real undertaking. Putting natural enemies such as ladybugs into the cultivation area will help fight the infestation. If some leaves have been affected and have the classic wavy embroidery on the top of the leaf, remove them from the plant. Nebulize capsaicin above and below the leaves, alternatively use a recommended product in these cases, according to the dosages of the product to complete the operation.