Have you noticed that your leaves are getting eaten? If so, you just need to learn how to get rid of leaf miners immediately!
Leaf miners are little bugs that live in the leaves of your plants and eat away at them. They’re one of the most common gardener pests, and they can wreak havoc on your plants if you don’t take steps to keep them under control.
But don’t worry! We’re here to help you and teach you how to get rid of leaf miners head-on.
This post will tell you the things you need to know about leaf miners, including how they affect your plants and how to get rid of them. First up, what exactly are leaf miners?
Before you learn how to get rid of leaf miners, what is it?
Leaf miners are insects that burrow through leaves, causing discoloration and damage. They’re typically found on trees but can also live in other plants like roses or grasses.
There are many types of leaf miners, but they all have the following things in common.
- They feed on the tissue within your leaf’s veins.
- The damage can be so severe that it leaves your plant unable to produce food for itself.
- Leaf miners are usually found in groups, which makes them easy to spot once you know what you’re looking for.
Before you get interested in getting rid of leaf miners, you should know that they can be hard to control because they’re tiny and easy to miss when you’re looking for them.
You might find that your plants are wilting even though it hasn’t been raining much lately, and then you’ll realize those wilted leaves have been mined!
So, how to get rid of leaf miners?
Options on how to get rid of leaf miners
If you’ve got leaf miners in your garden, here are the things you can do.
1. Natural way on how to get rid of leaf miners
The best way to get rid of leaf miners is to use natural methods first, such as the following.
Watering your plants well can help prevent leaf miner infestations. If you’re watering them regularly, the leaf miners won’t be able to survive and reproduce as easily.
Seaweed can help keep your plant healthy and resistant to pests, including leaf miners. Add a little seaindweed fertilizer every time you water your plants, and they’ll be fine!
- Neem Oil
Neem oil is another great natural remedy for getting rid of leaf miners. You can buy neem oil online or at most nurseries/garden centers. You can have either powder or liquid form. Spray carefully over any infected leaves and watch those pesky pests disappear!
2. Use of chemicals on how to get rid of leaf miners
There are a few chemicals that can get rid of leaf miners, including:
- Bacillus thuringiensis
It is a bacteria that kills leaf miners when eaten by larvae. It’s been used for years in organic farming and is approved for use on food crops by the EPA. It won’t affect humans and other animals but can be harmful if ingested by pets or wildlife.
It is a chemical made from a naturally occurring soil bacterium. It is derived from Spinosus plants and kills leaf miners as well as many other pests.
It’s considered safe for humans, pets, and wildlife but should not be used on bee-attractive plants because it may kill bees who come into contact with it.
- Dipel DF
It is a microbial insecticide that can be used to kill leaf miners. Applying the product in the evening when the temperature is above 70 degrees Fahrenheit is recommended.
The product should be applied once a week until the infestation is under control or until the leaves begin to yellow and drop off.
- Insecticidal soap
It is a natural insecticide that you can use to kill leaf miners. It’s a mixture of water, potassium salts, and fatty acids that creates a chemical reaction with the leaf miner’s exoskeleton and kills it on contact.
3. Biological control on how to get rid of leaf miners
There are a number of natural enemies that can help get rid of leaf miners. These include the following.
Ladybugs are the best exterminators. They love leaf miners and are really good at killing them.
If you’re seeing lots of leaf miners on your plants, you might want to consider getting some ladybugs to eat them up.
Ladybugs are voracious eaters, and they’ll take care of your leaf miner problem in no time flat. There’s just one thing you have to be careful about.
Ladybugs can’t fly when they’re full! So if you get a lot of ladybug eggs, make sure you put them in an area where they won’t be disturbed until they hatch into adults. Otherwise, all that food will go straight to waste.
Lacewings are very small but can wreak havoc on a leaf miner population.
The lacewing lays her eggs on leaves where she thinks leaf miners are most likely to be found.
Then, when the eggs hatch, the larvae start eating the leaf miner eggs and larvae. Since they’re so small, they can fit into the spaces between leaves where most other predators cannot reach them.
There are many different types of lacewings, each with its own special way of killing leaf miners. Some species lay their eggs in groups or clusters instead of alone as other kinds do. This gives them better odds of finding an egg or larva to eat!
- Parasitic wasps
Parasitic wasps are the most effective way to get rid of leaf miners, but they can be tricky to find.
They also lay their eggs inside the larvae of other insects like leaf miners, and when those larvae hatch, they kill them from the inside out. And then they move on to find more hosts!
Parasitic wasps are pretty hardy creatures themselves. They have a long lifespan, up to seven years, and they don’t need much food. They’ll happily live off pollen if there isn’t anything else available!
Get rid of leaf miners the way you want it!
So there you have it!
I hope you’ve enjoyed this guide to getting rid of leaf miners. If you have any hacks or tricks that work for you, please feel free to share them in the comments. It’s always useful to hear from other people combating the same problem.
And if you’re still struggling with leaf miner infestations, don’t give up! Keep exploring different approaches until you find one that works for your plants, and then stick with it. You’ll be glad you did!