I’ve been out in my own garden and I have noticed a common pest problem on my citrus trees. Citrus leaf miner is at its prime at this time of year, when the weather isn’t too hot or too cold. It is also a common problem in the early months of spring once all the new growth starts for most plants.The adult is a small black fly, which lays her eggs into the undersides of the newer foliage. But the adult isn’t what caused the main form of damage to the plant. Once the eggs hatch the larvae, small caterpillars, tunnel inside the leaves. Thus resulting in the lined patterns you see on the foliage. The symptoms and side affects to the citrus trees can be wilting, discolouration and the curling of the foliage. If you have a heavy infection, the tree can be very unhealthy for long periods of time.
The best method of control is to always prune off the worst of the infected foliage. Then followed with an organic spray, I always use EcoPest Oil on my edible trees. Never use a high chemical product on your edible trees because in most cases chemical residue can be carried into the fruit that you harvest. Also, just because the name states ‘Citrus’ leaf miner, this doesn’t mean that this pest won’t affect anything else. Leaf miner can be found of other plants such as nasturtiums, lettuce, cinerarias and others.
By Bonnie-Marie Hibbs