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Signs of damage
- Silverish lines. These lines result from pests feeding on the sap and are the main indicator that the plant is affected.
- Defoliation. Damaged leaves tend to drop prematurely due to reduced vigor.
- Reduced fruit size. It is a direct result of defoliation because fruit is more exposed to the sun, which causes sunburnt and affects it negatively.
How to prevent
To avoid this problem, you need to make your plant inaccessible to the flies that can lay the eggs there because no eggs mean no leaf miners. A sticky leaf miner trap is also good as a preventive option because flies will get stuck in this trap and eventually die. However, this trap can attract harmful insects and beneficial ones. The pheromone traps, in their turn, are alluring solely to leaf miners and are safe to natural predators.
Pesticides are the most popular remedy for this problem. The thing is, you have to apply it at the right time. The perfect timing is early spring because if you apply pesticide too early or too late, you won’t get rid of the larva or the flies. However, sprays designed solely for leaf miners can be used throughout the year. The main con of pesticides is that beneficial bugs will also be eliminated in the process of killing harmful larvae. To avoid this, you can use beneficial bugs such as Diglyphus isaea, Ladybugs, and Lacewings instead; they can be bought in related stores. Neem oil is also beneficial bug friendly; however, it is not as effective as pesticides. But it can be used as a good control method since it reduces the number of larvae.
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