How to Identify and Get Rid of Leaf Miners: Tips for Memphis Homeowners

Your trees and shrubs are an important part of your Memphis landscape. They not only provide beauty but often functional benefits like privacy, shade, sound barriers, and more.

But unbeknownst to you, there can be problems taking place right under your nose on your beloved trees and shrubs. Common culprits like diseases and insects can cause unwanted trouble.

One potential problem is leaf miner damage.

Leaf miners are tiny black flies, but it is actually the larvae of these flies which cause the damage to your plants.

In this article, we’ll talk about how to identify leaf miners as well as how you can work with a professional to get rid of them.

How to Identify Leaf Miners

As mentioned, leaf miners are small black flies, around ¼ inch long. However, it’s the larvae of the flies that do the damage. This occurs when these white, carrot-shaped larvae tunnel (and devour) their way through the flesh of the leaf.

Because the larvae are small (and hidden), the best way to identify leaf miners is to look for leaf miner damage.

leaf miner damage on leaf

Leaf miner damage often shows up as yellow squiggly lines running through the leaves. These are the areas where the larvae have bored their way through the interior of the leaf. Damage can also show up as spots or blotches on the leaves.

Any time that you’ve spotted potential trouble with your trees and shrubs, it is worth taking action to figure out what’s going on.

How to Get Rid of Leaf Miners

Leaf miners are best controlled with a systemic control product that will translocate through the plant. Timing of this leaf miner treatment is important as spraying too early or too late would mean missing the larvae stage of the leaf miner, which is the most destructive stage.

This is why it’s incredibly beneficial to work with a tree and shrub care professional. They’ll know the optimal timing for an application.

But perhaps more importantly, a professional will also be able to properly identify leaf miner damage and ensure that’s what you’re actually dealing with.

plant health care technician sprays plants

The truth is, that many tree and shrub problems can mimic one another. Properly identifying exactly what’s going on in your landscape is a key to success.

It’s also not uncommon to have more than one potential tree and shrub problem occurring at once. You might be dealing with a disease or even more than one pest problem.

Some other common tree and shrub pests in Memphis, TN include:

  • Aphids
  • Spider Mites
  • Mealybugs
  • Bagworms
  • Lace Bugs
  • White Flies
  • Wood-boring insects
  • Japanese Beetles
  • Scale

And as you might have guessed, different pests can require different solutions. You want to make sure that you are working with a tree and shrub professional who will implement the right solution.

Implementing Plant Health Care to Protect Your Landscape

While not all pest problems can be prevented, implementing a Plant Health Care program can help set your landscape up for success by strengthening the health of your plants.

Plant Health Care provides your trees and shrubs with vital nutrients that they need to thrive while also protecting them against many insects and diseases. It also helps to strengthen your plants to naturally fight back against some of these problems.

plant health care technician and customer shake hands

The treatments combine fertilization, pest control, and disease control and will help reduce the risk of your plants succumbing to these problems.

Plant Health Care can also help your plants to perform better. This means that your plants’ leaves may be greener, the blooms more profuse, and you might even get longer bloomer times. This is all the result of your plants receiving added nutrients they need to perform their best.

You’ll also protect your investment in your landscape. At the end of the day, losing a plant to a problem like an insect or a disease can be a frustration and an expense (if you plan to replace it). You probably don’t want to have a hole in your landscape where you lost a shrub.

But with Plant Health Care, you can often avoid aggravation by helping protect your plants from potential threats.

Partnering with a Pro to Get Rid of Leaf Miners (and More!)

When you partner with a professional, you gain peace of mind that your plants are getting what they need to perform their best and to be protected against disease and insects (like the leaf miner).

Of course, Plant Health Care is by no means a magic bullet. There are sometimes going to be problems that can’t be fixed. And, if a plant has already seriously succumbed to a problem, sometimes it’s beyond repair.

However, for many common problems that plants face in Memphis, TN, Plant Health Care can deliver peace of mind. You’ll also know that a trained pro is on the lookout for potential problems.

That all adds up to ditching your worries and getting back to enjoying time outside to the fullest.

Want to invest in protecting your landscape? Request a quote, get your customized plan, and become the master of your landscape.

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Image Source: leaf miner damage

Ken Alhoff

I have been involved in Memphis lawn care for over 20 years. I am married, live in Collierville and have 3 kids. When not making lawns green I enjoy recreational running, travel and am an avid scuba diver.

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