Have you seen these tunnels on your citrus leaves? You may first notice them because your new leaves are curling. This is caused by Citrus Leafminer.
Citrus Leafminer is a relatively new insect to California. Citrus Leafminer is a light-colored moth that has recently been infesting commercial orchards and backyards. The larvae create tunnels between the cuticles of the leaf, which are easily visible.
Is Citrus Leafminer Harmful to my Tree?
You will notice these tunnels and curling of the leaves in young foliage on the tree. If you believe your tree has become infected, there is no need to panic–it’s just an aesthetic inconvenience. If you have young citrus, it is recommended to use preventative treatment as leafminer can stress the tree.
This pest attacks only the new flush of growth, so try not to prune your trees more than once a year if you have been experiencing infestations. Do not prune infested leaves because this will cause new growth and give the pest more new leaves. Once the leaves harden with age, it is harder for the pest to enter the leaves.
Monterey Garden Insect Spray is the best spray to get a hold of the population size. We like this spray because it is organic and does not significantly harm beneficial insects. This spray is for trees that have been infested and is not meant to be used as a preventative treatment. You can download the product label here.
We recommend using a trap with a pheromone lure to monitor insect populations and treat them as needed. You can purchase these traps at the nursery.
If you are not sure you have an infestation, please bring in a picture or leaf sample in a small sealed bag. For further questions or concerns, drop by the nursery and ask! We are always happy to help.
You can read more about Citrus tree care from our previous blog, Citrus Care & Growing Tips.
What is your recommended treatment for Citrus Leaf Miner?
As mentioned above, we recommend putting up a Citrus Leafminer trap to monitor populations and once they are there, spray.
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