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Leaf miners are the larva or caterpillar of tiny moths. The adult form of this pest lays its eggs on plant leaves. The larvae burrow into the leaf and eat the leaf tissue from the inside. The leaf miner’s entire life cycle occurs between the soil and its host plant’s leaves, repeating the process over and over.
While there are several different kinds of leaf miners, their plant damage is similar. Leaf miners are named for their habit of burrowing into leaves to feed on tender plant tissue. Their damage is easy to spot as it is characterized by squiggly lines that appear just beneath the foliage surface. The lines are translucent with white or yellow coloring, though leaf miner damage can also appear as splotchy patches on leaves.
Leaf miners can be challenging to eliminate because their larvae creep within the layers of plant leaves, so you cannot simply pick them off or wipe them away. The most common method to rid plants of leaf miners is to spray general pesticide on the infected plants, however, it must be sprayed at the right time to kill the leaf miners. If you spray too early or too late, the pesticide will not reach the leaf miner larva and will not kill the leaf miner flies.
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