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Citrus leaf miners in citrus trees

The shiny waxy substance with the dark line in the center is an example of leaf miner on a citrus leaf. Submitted photo The shiny waxy substance with the dark line in the center is an example of leaf miner on a citrus leaf.

By John McLemore, County Extension Agent



Have you seen this before on the underside of your young citrus leaves? This indicates that your tree is infected with leaf miners. A citrus leaf miner has four life stages: egg, larva, pupa, and the adult moth. The adult moth is most active in the morning and evening, but only live for one to two weeks. The female moth lays eggs on the undersides of leaves, and the eggs hatch within a week after being laid. Leaf miners can be easily identified by looking at the underside of young leaves for a shiny waxy substance with a dark line in the center. An example is attached to this post.


Why is control for leaf miner important?


Leaf miner can cause a sparse foliage canopy if left uncontrolled. Foliage is needed for the tree to receive an adequate amount of sunlight for growth. Young leaves affected by uncontrolled leaf miner will harden and fall off. Uncontrolled leaf miner damage could have a negative impact on citrus production.


How to control leaf miners?


Leaf miners can be controlled using Imidacloprid (Bayer Advanced Fruit, Citrus, and Vegetable Insect Control), or Horticulture Oil (Bonide All Season Horticultural and Dormant Oil). Imidacloprid provides the longest period of control (one to three months) when compared to horticulture oil. Horticulture Oil should be applied every 7 to 14 days for effective control. These recommendations can be used during the growing season. Before application please read the chemical label for additional information and restrictions.


For additional information, please visit the Orchards and Fruits section of the Georgia Pest Management Handbook 2020 Home & Garden Edition. The Orchards and Fruits section is available on the Georgia Pest Management Handbook website at https://extension.uga.edu/content/dam/extension/programs-and-services/integrated-pest-management/documents/handbooks/2020-pmh-home-chapters/Orchards%20and%20Fruits.pdf.


If you have questions, please don't hesitate to call the Coffee County Extension office at 912-384-1402.


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