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Francis Barnswallow
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I'm desperate, leaf miners out of control

They're much worse this year then any other. They're wiping out the young tomato plants (they were the seedlings), tomato plants in main garden and no matter what I do, they just seem to multiply everyday. I'm really bummed out now. Also I got something digging in the main garden even though its surrounded by a cage.

So besides picking off the leaves and "seek and squish", is there any other way to at least get a handle on these little :twisted: 's?

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applestar
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According to THIS article, green lacewings are predators of *citrus* leaf miners. I don't know if they would also be effective against the leaf miners in your tomatoes (search for "tomato" didn't return any in the article)

https://insects.tamu.edu/extension/bulletins/l2471.html

I don't know if the article says (I didn't read the whole thing) but green lacewing eggs are relatively easy to get, compared to some of the other esoteric predators that HG sometimes mentions. :wink:

DoubleDogFarm
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Take a look at this two articles.

https://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/r783300911.html

https://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/veg/leaf/a_serpentine_leafminer.htm
Parasitic wasps (parasitoids) of the families Braconidae, Eulophidae, and Pteromalidae are important in natural control, and in the absence of insecticides usually keep this insect at low levels of abundance. At least 14 parasitoid species are known from Florida alone. Species of Eulophidae such as Diglyphus begina (Ashmead), D. intermedius (Girault), D. pulchripes, and Chrysocharis parksi Crawford are generally found to be most important in studies conducted in North America, although their relative importance varies geographically and temporally (Minkenberg and van Lenteren 1986). Predators and diseases are not considered to be important, relative to parasitoids. However, both larvae and adults are susceptible to predation by a wide variety of general predators, particularly ants
Eric
Last edited by DoubleDogFarm on Tue Mar 01, 2011 5:14 am, edited 1 time in total.

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applestar
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Good one, Eric! :D

Also, I didn't mention it because we talk about it before, but don't forget the beneficial nematodes to finish off the ones that emerge from their leafy tunnels, drop to the ground and burrow in the soil to pupate. :twisted:

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rainbowgardener
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All good suggestions! Also think about planting some velvet leaf. It's a wildflower (some would say weed :) )

https://www.ppws.vt.edu/scott/weed_id/abuth.htm

I have it in my garden and I think the yellow flowers are pretty. It spreads itself around a little bit, but not aggressively (in my climate anyway). It is called velvetleaf, because the leaves are really soft and tender. The leaf miners love them! It makes a great trap crop, luring the leafminers away from the things you care about. Once the leafminers are in it, you can pick the leaves off, so they don't get a chance to reproduce.
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

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Francis Barnswallow
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thanks yall!!

annastasia76
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does anybody know how big these leaf miners are?? I have never seen them. I have something taking the leaves off my pepper sprouts (and only my peppers). I was thinking of making a net of fabric netting or gauze around my planters to see if that would prevent them from getting to my just sprouted plants.
Annastasia

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Francis Barnswallow
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The biggest leaf miner I've ever seen was about the size of a poppy seed. And they're bright orange in color.

annastasia76
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well then my idea won't work, but who knows what's getting my plants, I've never seen anything on them.
Annastasia

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applestar
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A-- This is about when somebody recommends going out with flashlight at night to see if your culprit is a nocturnal feeder, and to recommend looking for slugs and snails. A scooped out 1/2 orange or grapefruit placed cut side own works as a trap and indicator.

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rainbowgardener
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annastasia76 wrote:does anybody know how big these leaf miners are?? I have never seen them. I have something taking the leaves off my pepper sprouts (and only my peppers). I was thinking of making a net of fabric netting or gauze around my planters to see if that would prevent them from getting to my just sprouted plants.
Leaf miners don't take leaves off. They burrow into them and chew their way around leaving very distinctive squiggly trails.

[url=https://www.flickr.com/photos/zombie37/2651894944/]leafminer trails[/url]

Row cover or gauze can work to keep insects away from plants IF you know what you are dealing with and IF you know that they aren't already there, in the soil or hidden in/on the plant somewhere. Otherwise you are just caging them in with your plant. Applestar's suggestion of slugs sounds like a good possibility. Another way to look for them is just to lay a board down directly on the soil and leave it for a couple days. Come back in the daytime and turn it over. If you have slugs, they are likely to be hiding under the board.
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

annastasia76
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we definitely don't have slugs here, it's either bugs at night or some mouse that is avoiding my traps
Annastasia

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