Leaf miners – Devastating pest on vegetable crops

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Leaf miners are small insect larvae which burrow in between the leaf layers of soft succulent leaved crops. Adult insects lay eggs in leaves and larvae hatch out and feed tissues in between leaf surfaces, creating a hollow track or "mine" without any proper straight way. 

                             Life miners on plants

Different classes of leaf miners.

  • Phyllocnistis citrella citrus leaf miners infests Citrus plants

                                  Citrus Leaf miners

  • Liriomyza sativae [Vegetable Leaf miners]; Liriomyza trifolii [Vegetable Leaf miners] soft leaved vegetables and cucurbits both on open fields and green houses, Liriomyza trifolii [Vegetable Leaf miners] also infests on Cabbage, Cauliflower, Turnips, Beets and Radishes.

                                  Liriomyza leaf miners on vegetables

  • Pegomya hyoscyami [Spinach leaf miners] infests on Spinach, Radishes

                                   Spinach leaf miners

  • and similar weeds and Tuta absolata [Tomato leaf miners] on tomato crop.

                      Tuta absolute leaf miners on tomato  Tuta absolute leaf miners on tomatoes

Damage and symptoms

  • Initial symptoms on leaf miners infestations look like twisted marks in white colour on leaves.
  • The mines can be noticed after 3 to 4 days after oviposition by the adults and size of the mine goes on increasing with the maturity of the larvae.

                       Leaf miners on vegetable crops

  • Severe damage makes leaves appear like stipples, leaf mining by the larvae and stippling of leaves reduces the photosynthetic ability of the leaves.
  • Extensive mining causes the pre mature leaf drop where yield attributes of the crop are seriously reduced.

Favorable conditions for leaf miner incidence

The life cycle takes only 2 weeks in warm weather; there are seven to ten generations a year. 

                    Life miner life cycle on plants

Egg stage [on Leaf], larval stage [in Leaf], Pupal stage [in the soil] and Adult on [plants] and larvae is the damaging stage of the Leaf miners on plants.


For effective control of the leaf miners all the stages of insect need to consider.

Egg stage and larval stage insects can be killed by use of Ovicidal insecticides like neem oil [Econeem plus 1 % - 1 mL/L OR Neemark 1 % 1 mL/L].

                        Organic Management of leaf miners on vegetables with Econeem plus              Organic Management of leaf miners on vegetables with Neemark

Translaminar mode of action insecticides like Triazhophos [Trifos] 2 mL/L . This spray also controls the adult flies.

                                           Effective Management of leaf miners on vegetables with trifos

Dupont Benevia 200 mL per acre spray at 20 to 25 days of crop stage will control the leaf miner infestation.

                                         Effective Management of leaf miners on vegetables with Benevia

Pupal stage of leaf miner insect pupates in soil so the pupa also needs to be killed for effective control of leaf miners in the crops stage. Fumigants and sytemic insecticides can be sprayed [Predator 3 mL/L OR Tafaban 3 mL/L OR Durmet] 3 mL/L or soil application with Cartap Hydrochloride 4 % [Caldan] 5 kg per acre will kill the pupa.

            Effective Management of leaf miners Pupae by soil treatment with Predator  Effective Management of leaf miners Puapae by soil treatment with Tafaban   Effective Management of leaf miners Puapae by soil treatment with Durmet   Effective Management of leaf miners Puapae by soil treatment with soil fumigation by CALDAN

All the above pesticides may be mixed with neem oil [Econeem plus 1 % - 1 mL/L OR Neemark 1 % 1 mL/L]. for effective management of leaf miners on crops.



Senior Agronomist, BigHaat.

Disclaimer: The performance of the product (s) is subject to usage as per manufacturer guidelines. Read enclosed leaflet of the product(s) carefully before use. The use of this product(s)/ information is at the discretion of user.

1 comment

  • Madam Thyagaraj

    Sir , Any idea for better fruiting of coconut plants. Please advice.

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