Chris DeWildt

November 12, 2018 3 min read
November 12, 2018
3 min read

Growers Network’s Pest Profile: Leaf Miners

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In this series of articles, Growers Network talks about a few of the most common Cannabis pests you need to look out for. Today’s topic: Leaf Miners.

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Garden pests are a pain and Cannabis certainly has no shortage of pests. So for today’s pest profile we’re going to discuss leaf miners, a common pest you may find yourself dealing with in a cannabis grow.


Leaf Miners


leafminer
A larval leaf miner next to a damaged leaf. Note the tunneling.


What are they?

Leaf miner is a general term for a variety of insects whose larval stage is characterized by their “mining” or “boring” behavior as they tunnel inside leaves. Adults leaf miners lay their eggs in soil and when the larvae emerge, they feed on the interior of leaves. They impact cannabis grows by reducing yields and their tunnels can make the plants susceptible to fungal and viral infection.

Editor’s Note: These insects are sometimes called “boring insects” not because they are dull or uninteresting, but because they “bore” through plant material.

What to Look For

Leaf miners look like small worms or caterpillars. The tell-tale sign of a leaf miner attack is a winding, lightly colored trail that shows on the surface of the leaves.

How to Treat/Prevent

A localized outbreak of leaf miners can be controlled through removal of the pests by hand or by pruning the affected leaves from the plant. Sticky traps are often used both to catch adults in the process of depositing eggs in the soil, and around the base of the plant to catch the larva before they can reach it. Beneficial predators such as parasitic wasps can also be employed to control and kill larval leaf miners.


That’s it for the our intro to leaf miner maladies. Make sure to check out the rest of the articles in our Pest Profile series.

Happy Growing!


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About the Author

Chris DeWildt is a graduate of Grand Valley State University and Western Kentucky University. He worked in education and publishing for ten years before joining the team at Growers Network.