19 Jan Azalea Leafminer
As with most leaf mining insects this pest is more easily identified by the damage it causes than the insect itself. The adult form of this pest is a small moth with around 10mm wingspan that lays its eggs along the midrib of Azalea leaves. The juvenile caterpillars that hatch eat inside the leaf between its upper and lower surfaces. A keen eye can see the tracks on the underside of the leaves, but most are alerted to its presence by the brown wedges formed along the midrib of the leaf and curling leaf tips.
Damaged leaves show small brown wedges of around 5mm along the midrib. The tips of the leaves may also be turned over with webbing present
These pests rarely cause a major problem in the garden and affected leaves can be easily picked off and destroyed by hand or by collecting damaged materials and placing in a bag out in the sun to destroy.
Green: Botanical oils (eg. Eco-OilÒ) sprayed at regular intervals over the warmer months in the garden may be useful in convincing the adult moths to lay their eggs elsewhere.
NB Do not apply oil sprays in temperatures exceeding 25°C as this will likely burn foliage.
Orange: Not required for this pest
Red: Not required for this pest.