Leafminers are common in agriculture as well as greenhouses, but to cope you’ll need to administer proper leafminer control to eliminate them effectively. Let’s talk about these hideous pests that may just be wreaking havoc on your crops as you read this!
Before establishing leafminer control let’s identify leafminers
What are leafminers?
Leafminers are maggot-like creatures when in their larvae stage, but they evolve after 2 to 3 weeks into their adult phase. Once they reach adulthood they can be 2.54 to 25.4cm long and can be recognized having either gray or white stripes and wings similar looking to a fly. Pregnant females will lay up to 250 eggs just beneath the leaf’s epidermal surface creating visible bumps on the leaf. Once the eggs hatch they will feed off the nutrients of the leaves. The next stage is the pupating phase by which these maggots or leafminer worms will then drop off into the soil beneath and it’s beneath the soil they will stay until ready to spawn into the winged fly-like adults.
Recognizing leafminer damage
A trail of “frass” or leafminer excrement can be seen on the leaves of plants, a sure sign they are feeding off the host plant. Leafminers worms also go about burrowing onto the top layer of the leaf and feed off the nutrients. This will result in a bump-like brown tunnel structure on the leaf and these causes server stinting of flower and fruit growth as well as reducing harvest numbers.
They typically enjoy broad-leafed plants and sometimes in large infestations, you’ll find several of the leafminer worms present on a single leaf. Meafminers typically enjoy crops as well as cucumber, spinach, tomatoes, and citrus to name a few.
Leafminer control methods
The leafminer parasite isn’t a good thing and once you’ve identified them on your farm, you can put a stop to their carnage.
Leafminers organic control is versatile and possible for the good health of your crops. Leafmonor traps are a good way to lure the adult pests away from your healthy crops. Trap crops can be planted around the outer sections of the crops you want to save or they can be interspersed.
- The plant absorbs synthetic insecticides once it is sprayed on. This will kill leafminor maggots when they try to feed off the plant
- Organic fertilizers can also be used to maintain pest control; these include neem-based insecticides. This will affect adult leafminor fertility and disrupt larvae development.
- Incorporating leafminor preditors like Diglyphus isaea will destroy the leafminer larvae and stop them from thriving during development. These wasp-like insects are used to protect crops in greenhouses as well as for crops in fields.
Calling on the trusted services of agricultural pest specialists will ensure a better lifespan and successful harvest without losing out to pest infestations.
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