Citrus Leaf Miner
The Citrus leafminer, known in the world of science as Phyllocnistis citrella, is the only type of leafminer that attacks citrus plants in Australia. It is believed to have originated from Southeast Asia, the same pest soon found its way in Western Australia in the year 1995.
Characteristics of the Citrus Leafminer
To easily identify this pest on your crops and plants, here is a small guide for your assistance.
white and silvery iridescent scale found on its forewings fashioned with black and tan markings
white hind wings and body combined with long fringe scales that extends from the hind wing margin
measurement of 2.4 mm in its resting moth but with its wings widely spread, it reveals 4mm
very smooth scaled white head
serpentine larval mine found on the ventral side of the leaf
minute larvae that measures 3mm with translucent greenish-yellow color that
thrives inside its leaf mine
active in the evening rather in the morning
Symptoms of Plants Infected with Citrus Leaf Miner
curling of leaves
silvery film appearance found over the leaf mines epidermis
rolled over leaf with distinct orange color appearance on its exposed portion of
damage on succulent branches of green shoots
Damage to Crops of Citrus Leafminer
The citrus leaf attacks variety of citrus plants. It infests its young flushing foliage, which results to a snake like mine appearance on the leaf of the plant that they feed upon. It also attacks the fruits and stems of these varieties. Worst of all, it retards the growth of young trees.
Seasonal Damage of the Citrus Leafminer
The Citrust Leafminer commonly attacks the leaves of plants during late Autumn or the months of April and May and becomes less hazardous during spring where their population is seen to have decreased.
Citrus Leaf Miner Control
The following are the common approaches used by gardeners and farmers to eliminate the Citrus leafminer.
Use of horticultural oil sprays are done to help reduce the population of the leafminer and its eggs production. Once sprayed with this substance, the moths of the leafminer begin to diminish because it tends to avoid the surfaces with this it. However, it is best if the solution is sprayed upon appearance of the pest so it can avoid the spread of too many eggs on the leaves. Note also that insecticidal control will be less effective on the pest during its larvae stage because it has already been shielded and protected by the rolled leaf margin.
To help reduce the infestation of the citrus leafminer, farmers may also do the following:
prune growth flushes
do your fertization during the late winter to help promote strong spring growth of
Avoid overwatering the plants during the late summer or in autumn.
Use of parasites and predators may also be used to control the growth and production of these pests. You may use one of the following insects and predators to assist you:
green and brown lacewings
Prevention and Monitoring of the Citrus Leafminer
To help prevent the infestation of this pest, try monitoring the production of significant growth flushes that are less than five years old and examine its advance shoots to see if there are any abnormal growths on these leaves.