What are those squiggly lines on my plants? Leaf Miners!!!
What are those squiggly lines on my plant leaves?
As a novice vegetable grower, you’ve probably encountered leaves with squiggly white lines on them. However, you don’t see any bugs or insects anywhere near the leaf or around the whole plant. What exactly are those squiggly lines?
Leaf miners are microscopic larvae that are deposited in the plant leaf tissue by numerous types of flies. The larvae digs through the leaf and creates tunnels as it feeds its way through the leaf. These tunnels are what the squiggly lines appear to be when looking at the leaves.
Leaf miners are pests that can potentially destroy entire crops. They inhibit the plant from carrying out vital processes and the damage will result in struggling plants and reduced overall yield.
What to do about leaf miners?
While there are plenty of organic and inorganic insecticides that claim to effectively kill off leaf miners such as carbaryl (Click to buy Sevin) and pyrethrin/permethrin (Click to buy Perfi-Kill), and azadirachtin (Click to buy Neem Oil), the best way to deal with them is by prevention.
Properly enclosing your grow area in a greenhouse with a fine mesh net cover dramatically reduces exposure of your plants to flies and other pests. It is, in fact, the only way to truly ensure an organic approach to growing vegetables without the use of organic or in-organic pesticides. To buy a 12ft x 12ft fine mesh net for your greenhouse, click here.
To understand more about the life cycle of Leaf Miners, watch the video below: