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Leafminer Bugs

Leafminer bug damage on ornamental plant, Nasturtium"Leafminers bugs" describe the larvae of moths, flies and beetles that feed on the interior tissue of the leaf of a bug. The damage done by these garden pests to our plants is easy to spot because of the "mines" created as the bugs chews inside the leaf. In some instances the leafminer will cause a light colored blotch on the leaf, in really bad cases the plant will look discolored and/or drop leaves. It is rare that leafminers do enough damage to kill a plant, what they destroy mostly is the aesthetic value of your ornamentals for a short period of time.

How Do They Get In?

Female flies puncture the leaves to either suck on the sap inside the leaf or to lay eggs.

How Do I Kill Them?

It is rare that so much damage is done by these bugs during their life cycle that your plant will die. Most of the time there are enough natural predators, like parasitic wasps, that keep these pests under control. If you have to use an insecticide that is systematically carried throughout the plant. That means that you have to use an insecticide that is absorbed by the plant and carried to the leafs where it will come in contact with the larvae or be eaten by it. Bug spray that work by killing bugs on contact won't have any (if much) affect if sprayed on your plants.

Have Some Time To Kill?

I came across this game for kids on where try to correctly identify the leaf that is dropped before the falls and eaten by the leafminer larvae on the ground. Correctly identity the leaf by selecting the name from the choices on the right hand of the screen. If three leafs are eaten by the leafminer the game ends. Play the leafminer game.

Sources/Further Info:

Leafmining Insects.

Leafmining Insects/Chemical recommendations.


  1. Leafminers get into the skin of citrus here. It doesn't hurt the fruit, but for commercial growers, it is impossible to sell as eaten-out-of-hand fruit, so they sell for juice.
    (I just noticed you wrote about Wandering Jew a while ago. I just wrote about it last night. I didn't copy you, honest!)

  2. Did not know about Leafminers. I have seen leaves like the one you pictures but never thought too much about it since it doesn't seem to hurt the plant.
    Thanks for sharing.

  3. I had leafminers on my spinach this year and it was so bad that I could harvest only a few individual leaves. Anything I can do about this, since it is not an ornamental?

  4. Anonymous5:01 PM

    I get leafminers in my garden.
    Like you said, they don't cause that much damage so I tend to just ignore them as I do with most pests, with some exceptions, like snails.
    They make such a satisfying crunching noise:)

  5. Aiyana,

    Don't worry about it. LOL. I wouldn't think you're copying me. Given that we're all growing things garden bloggers are bound to have similar posts. I saw you have a post on Mondemniums and I'm going to photograph mine since it seems to be experiencing a growth spurt.


    Thanks for stopping by.


    You know I don't really grow edibles so I would feel uncomfortable providing you info on how to deal with them since you'll be eating the plant. Hmmm. See if my sidebar has a blogger that does veggies or if anyone reading this has a veggie blog and has dealt with leafminers on your edibles feel free to link to your post on it here or contact bev.


    I've only found one snail in my garden and it was so tiny I felt bad about smashing it. Now slugs are a different story...I love stepping on them or giving them to the neighbor's kids and telling them to pour salt on them.



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