Sayan128
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What's eating my plants?

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Can anyone help identify what's eating my veggies and whether neem oil will take care of it?
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rainbowgardener
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Re: What's eating my plants?

Not as clear what is going on in top photo. The brown spots may be disease, not something eating it.

The bottom picture when enlarged clearly shows the squiggle trails of leaf miners.

Image

These are larvae of flies or moths. The eggs are laid on the leaf. As soon as the larva hatches out, it burrows inside of the leaf. It then eats its way around the inside of the leaf, leaving the trails. As such it is very protected from anything you can spray on the surface of the leaves. Neem oil might help to prevent the next generation from burrowing in, but won't bother the ones that are already inside.

Good news is, unless you have a major infestation of them, the damage they do is usually pretty minor and doesn't harm the plant much. You can just remove and trash the affected leaf (or part of leaf) that has the squiggles. After the larva grows enough, it eats its way out of the leaf, drops down, burrows into the soil and pupates, to emerge as the next generation adult. If you put down landscape fabric and/or heavy mulch, you can make it harder for the larva to reach the soil, which will help prevent a next generation.

Lamb's quarters, velvet leaf, and columbine are trap crops for them. Planted outside your garden bed, they will work to draw the leaf miners away from the plants you want. Just keep pulling squiggled leaves off the trap crops.
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Sayan128
Newly Registered
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Jun 09, 2017 3:11 am

Re: What's eating my plants?

rainbowgardener wrote:Not as clear what is going on in top photo. The brown spots may be disease, not something eating it.

The bottom picture when enlarged clearly shows the squiggle trails of leaf miners.

Image

These are larvae of flies or moths. The eggs are laid on the leaf. As soon as the larva hatches out, it burrows inside of the leaf. It then eats its way around the inside of the leaf, leaving the trails. As such it is very protected from anything you can spray on the surface of the leaves. Neem oil might help to prevent the next generation from burrowing in, but won't bother the ones that are already inside.

Good news is, unless you have a major infestation of them, the damage they do is usually pretty minor and doesn't harm the plant much. You can just remove and trash the affected leaf (or part of leaf) that has the squiggles. After the larva grows enough, it eats its way out of the leaf, drops down, burrows into the soil and pupates, to emerge as the next generation adult. If you put down landscape fabric and/or heavy mulch, you can make it harder for the larva to reach the soil, which will help prevent a next generation.

Lamb's quarters, velvet leaf, and columbine are trap crops for them. Planted outside your garden bed, they will work to draw the leaf miners away from the plants you want. Just keep pulling squiggled leaves off the trap crops.
thank you so much!! will get to mulching then this weekend :)

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