This year I’m having problems with miners. Those insects that loves to dig around in my citrus tree leaves. More like my kaffir lime tree. The fruits aren’t that great to eat. I use the fruit as zest. Kaffir lime citrus leaves are editable which I use the lime leaves in my cooking. But with citrus leaf miners, it’s a problem.
Life Cycle of Leaf Miner’s and What are They
These insects are most likely be some sort of flies there’s a wide range of them ranging from flies, moths, beetles, and wasps. They fly all over to find a hatching ground. In this case they love weak and brand new leaves. They also love cabbage, beans, lettuce, and tomatoes plus some. They lay their eggs on the leaf. When their eggs hatches the tiny larvae drill between the top layer of the leaf and bottom layer of the leaf for feeding.
When they do that they leave a trace of what it looks like roads on a map. Some looks like tunnels. They are eating the flesh green goodness between the leaf. Once the larvae is done feasting it’ll rest and cocoon into maturity. Then they’ll fly off into the sunset. Soon they’ll repeat the process.
The Aftermath of the Leave Miner
Why are They doing this? We all know that it’s part of the cycle of life with all creatures including humans. We human are on the top of the survival chain. We hate it when something we worked so hard for get damaged by a tiny insect.
The leaf miners left devastating spots or blemishes on the things we eat. Of course naturally we eliminate the problem. The damaged left by the larval damage isn’t to kill the plant. However, a large devastation to one plant might slow the growth of the plant.
What to Do
There are a few things we can do organically to prevent this process from happening. You can cover the plants with a cloth. By doing so you keep the insects from laying eggs on the plants. Watering your plants so that it thrives and be strong. These insects only attack weak and new grows. Removing all the infected leaves.
As you can see from above it’s my kaffir limes new growth and the leaves are curled. Due to insects that are taking up refuge.
If you can catch them at a larva stage or early enough, pinch it to stop it. Don’t just let the leaves drop on the ground because then they will bury themselves under the dirt and hatch when they are ready. You have to stop the threat from happening again.
I don’t recommend using insecticides because these are plants we are going to ingest. Using insecticides stops the miners but you also eliminate the good ones as well. You need the predators for insect control to.
Now if they attack your evergreens then it is a different situation. Planting vegetables near an effect tree use neem oil to eliminate the insect.
The oils keep the insects from landing on the plant and preventing them to lay their eggs.
The top picture still have a larva in it. Catch it early enough and get rid of it. Burn it, pinch it, or take a hammer to it. Okay fine a hammer is too much. But you get the gist.
The leaf miners are pretty bad for our crops. The ideal here is to prevent reoccurring effects to your vegetables, trees, and plants. Cover the plants with a cloth or cold cap. Catch them early enough and slow down their process. Use neem oil for protection. And stay away from insecticides. Not good for your heath.
Thank you for reading this far. I know it was painful but you stuck through and I am grateful that you did. If you have any questions or comments please do not be shy and share them with me. We can learn from each other and grow together. Again thank you for dropping by. Cheers happy gardening.