19 Jan Citrus Leafminer


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 of about 5mm wingspan that lays its eggs onto citrus young citrus leaves during the night. The larvae that hatch eat inside the leaf between its upper and lower surfaces creating a silver track that wonders the leaf surface, gradually widening as the larvae grows.

Damage Caused:

New growth shows silvery tracks in the leaf that meander around, widening as the larvae inside grows in size. The leaves appear disfigured and can often curl as a result of attack. As a result the plant is weakened and new growth stunted.


Affected leaves can be picked off and destroyed by hand or by collecting damaged materials and placing in a bag out in the sun to destroy the larvae inside.  Healthy plants are less susceptible to attack so keep water, light and fertiliser to a reasonable level to increase natural resistance.

Green: Botanical oils (eg. Eco-OilÒ) sprayed at regular weekly intervals place a film over the leaves and convince 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.

Video of Citrus Leafminer under Microscope



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