Characteristics of the Citrus LeafminerTo easily identify this pest on your crops and plants, here is a small guide for your assistance.
- A small silvery coloured moth measuring approximately 2.4 mm.
- White hind wings and body combined with long fringe scales that extends from the hind wings
- Very smooth scaled white head
- Snake like larval mines found on the top side of the leaf, though occasionally found on the underside of the leaf and on the fruit of the tree.
- Minute larvae that measures 3mm with translucent greenish-yellow color that thrives inside its leaf mine
- Active in the evening rather in the morning
Symptoms of Plants Infected with Citrus Leaf Miner
- Curling of the trees leaves
- Silvery film appearance found over the leaf mines epidermis
- Damage on young branches and new flush.
Damage to Crops of Citrus LeafminerThe citrus leaf miner attacks most varieties of citrus plants. It infests the trees young flushing foliage, which results to a snake like mine appearance on the leaf of the plant that they feed upon. It can also attacks the fruits and stems of some varieties. In worst case sensors it retards and dwarfs the growth of young trees.
Seasonal Damage of the Citrus LeafminerThere can be up to 15 generations of Citrus leaf miner a year. Infestations generally start from Summer and continue through to late Autumn. The highest infestations are always in mid to late Autumn.
Citrus Leaf Miner ControlThe following are the common approaches used by gardeners to eliminate and control Citrus leaf miner. Chemical Control The use of horticultural oil sprays helps reduce the population of the leafminer and its eggs production. Once sprayed with this substance, the moths of the leafminer begin to diminish because it tends to avoid any surfaces with oil on it. However, it is best if the solution is sprayed upon appearance of the pest so it can avoid the spread of too many eggs on the leaves. For these reasons spray on a regular basis of once every 2 weeks. The use of a systemic pesticide can also control the spread and return of this pest. Note also that insecticidal control will be less effective on the pest during its larvae stage because it has already been shielded and protected by the rolled leaf margin. Cultural Control To help reduce the infestation of the citrus leafminer, you can also do the following:
- Prune growth flushes
- Fertilise during late winter and early spring to help promote strong spring growth of the plants.
- Avoid overwatering the plants during the late summer or in autumn.
- Citrostichus pyhllocnistoides
- Ageniaspis citricola
- Cirrosphilus quadristriatus
- Semielacher petiolatus
- Green and brown lacewings