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Leaf miner fly


A maze of beige or silvery trails appear and spread just below the upper surfaces of leaves.

Find it on: many shrubs, perennials, vegetables, fruit trees and bushes
Time to act: all year round


The winding trails on leaves are caused by the larvae of a small, dark fly. During summer, the females make little nicks in the leaf surface to lay their eggs. A week later, these hatch into larvae, which tunnel along just under the leaf surface to feed. After 2-3 weeks, the larvae pupate inside the leaves and emerge as adults. The damage is mostly cosmetic but where many leaves are affected, the plant may be weakened or die. Different species of leaf miner fly affect specific plants.


A maze of beige or silvery trails appear and spread just below the upper surfaces of leaves.


Pinch off infected leaves as soon as the first 'wiggling' trails are seen and dispose of them in the bin or burn them immediately.

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Talkback: Leaf miner fly
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Coulstons 24/11/2011 at 15:29

I hope you can help me? I have a weeping Willow tree in our garden. Our weeping willow has developed some sort of problem which I have to say I have no idea what it is. Some of the leafs on the willow are turning yellow and are presenting some brown spots. There are also some brown marks to the the stems to the leaves. Quite alot of leaves have fallen from the tree. We are also getting some dead wood in the tree right thing but I have removed the branch which had the fungus on it

Frank Carter 01/06/2012 at 16:06

Is there a treatment for leaf miner fly? If so, what is it?

Alina W 01/06/2012 at 17:54

A systemic insecticide will deal with it, but you really have to spray before they appear. They are harmless, just disfiguring.

Lou-Lou 24/04/2013 at 23:18

I had to throw nearly all my lettuces last year, the leaf-miner making them totally inedible.

Smiles82 09/09/2013 at 19:58

Can anyone recommend a treatment for leaf miner as my curly kale is suffering! have used Bayer's Provado ultimate fruit & vegetable bug killer but I do not think it is working! :-( This is my first year growing vegetables and I'll be disheartened if I have major curly kale failure!!! Please can someone advice me on this problem?

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