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I think I have leaf miners affecting my spinach, Swiss chard & beets .....I don't what to use any insecticide......is there any other options???
Last edited by camprn on 6/14/2014, 8:57 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : expanded title)
Hi there. there are a few back threads about leafminers that would be helpful for you to read. The trouble is the pest is inside the leaf. You can hand squish the leaf or remove affected leaves. Leaf miners are usually troublesome only in the early summer.@OldHasBeen wrote:I think I have leaf miners affecting my spinach, Swiss chard & beets .....I don't what to use any insecticide......is there any other options???
40 years a gardener and going strong with SFG.
There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance. ~ Henry David Thoreau
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You have to hand pick these off your plants and squish them or drop them in soapy water. This was easy to do with the red nymphs, but once they are grown, they are faster than I can grab. Some people use hand held vacuums to suck these off the plants. I've only had these on one tomato plant this year - as nymphs. However, today, I found an adult (brownish gray with a body that looks like a shield) in my main garden on a tomato plant. There is no insecticide that will kill them. BT only works if you catch them in the red, nymph stage which is now past this season. They are terrible at scarring tomatoes and peppers. I have found they only go after the tomatoes once they start getting a red blush to them. My area's Master Gardener's recommend that once you have leaf miners, you pick your tomatoes as soon as they have a 2/3's pink blush. I've been doing that and letting them continue to ripen in the kitchen window. I have to pick early in the morning and again at the end of the day to salvage them in this blush stage. The birds have also discovered them and although I keep water out for my bird friends, I am still losing some tomatoes to their pecks. Picking early in the morning has helped salvage tomatoes I might not otherwise get from both these pests. Good luck! The hotter it gets, the worse the leaf miners get. I had an infestation of them last year that brought me to a meltdown stage, as nothing I did would rid my garden of the leaf miners. I did buy some sticky paper this year to put out around my tomatoes, but decided that wouldn't work since it would also trap the bees and pollinators.
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