Citrus Leaf Miner - is it a problem?

Discussion in 'Planting, growing, nurturing Plants' started by eco4560, Feb 22, 2011.

  1. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2009
    Messages:
    5,925
    Likes Received:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I'm starting to see deformed leaves on some but not all my citrus trees, consistent with citrus leaf miner. Apart from it being unsightly is it actually going to damage the plant in some way? The one I'm most concerned by is the kaffir lime given that it is the leaves that I harvest.
    If it only makes it ugly but doesn't affect the overall plant health then I'm just going to ignore it.
    If is is weakening the plants - what do I do about it? It does seem to be more marked on the trees that have grass under them so I'm busy sheet mulching to control the grass.
    Will it become less of a problem as time passes and the system matures more?
     
  2. purplepear

    purplepear Junior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2009
    Messages:
    2,456
    Likes Received:
    10
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Occupation:
    Farm manager/ educator
    Location:
    Hunter Valley New South Wales
    Home Page:
    Climate:
    warm temperate - some frost - changing every year
    Of course the loss of that leaf surface it have an effect on the plant but it seems to be an insignificant effect in my opinion most of the time and I generally ignore it.
    Timing is the key to control as you need to get the blighter at a vunerable stage of it's development.
    Can't remember it all - sorry Eco - but if the answer does not come I will drag out Hicks IPM and get the answer for you.
     
  3. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2009
    Messages:
    5,925
    Likes Received:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Thanks Mark.
     
  4. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2009
    Messages:
    5,925
    Likes Received:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Is Baz out there somewhere? I found a post from you on Aussies living simply from 4 years ago asking the same question! What did you end up doing and has it worked?
     
  5. Terra

    Terra Moderator

    Joined:
    May 16, 2007
    Messages:
    757
    Likes Received:
    23
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Straight out of " citrus for everyone" its a nocturnal moth larva lifecycle 14 - 17 days , active on new growth . On mature trees control is not necessary due to parasitic wasps , control may be necessary on young trees to avoid stunting them . Very good book have failed dismally in the past to establish citrus but now have 5 good young trees going .
     
  6. sindhooram

    sindhooram Junior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2008
    Messages:
    236
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I dont know anything special about citrus leaf miner but my experience of leaf miner here on tomato, brinjal etc. is as follows:
    They only come in the hot dry season and are not active in rainy season ( at least I never see the tracks in the leaves monsoon time).
    They attack the plant from lower leaf up.
    The leaves they make their tracks in will eventually yellow and die. So if it is very prevelent and found in lots of leaves you may have to do something. but if only in leaves here and there is probably won't affect things that much.
    Sorry i can't be of any help in how to control them as I haven't found anything that works.
     
  7. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2009
    Messages:
    5,925
    Likes Received:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Your miners must be different to mine Sind. I hasn't stopped raining here since early December, and they are only attacking the new growth as Terra says.
    Maybe I should be happy mine are different if you haven't found a control solution.

    One resource I read says to cut off and throw away the affected leaves to break the cycle. The other said not to cut them off as pruning will induce new growth that the moth can lay on and you'll get more damage.... Gee I wish it were easier than this! The urge to get out the secatuers is getting stronger though and will probably win. I've been considering that I need to make a guild for the citrus and put in some flowering plants to attract predator wasps, some legumes, maybe an allium to deter moths. Still thinking.... Guild planning is still a challenge to me.
     
  8. permup

    permup Junior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2007
    Messages:
    289
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I always spray my young citrus leaves every week with either home-made white oil or Neem oil. Once they are fully grown, the miner can't seem to burrow, and they are not affected by afid. To make your own white oil, get a spray bottle and put a couple of cm of vegetable oil in the bottom (doesn't matter what kind, so don't waste your extra virgin olive oil or anything will you?), the same amount of detergent (washing up detergent is fine), warm water. Shake and spray. Keeps for ages.

    I've read somewhere that the miner can live in affected leaves and then attack new leaves when they arrive. The only way to get rid of them is to cut the affected leaves off the tree and dispose of them in the rubbish. Not sure whether this is accurate or not, but I have very nice citrus trees as a result.

    Paula.
     
  9. sindhooram

    sindhooram Junior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2008
    Messages:
    236
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    so I guess in Australia the leaf miners work the other way up....I haven't made very serious attempts to get rid of mine as it is low down on my list of priorities but I found neem oil / soap nut mix spray reasonably effective for aphids with persistent use.
     
  10. sun burn

    sun burn Junior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2010
    Messages:
    1,676
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I'm with Permup. I made up the white oil stuff though i don't spray it as religiously (I don't do anything religiously - its beyond me) as she does though i'd like to be that good about it. I did it because i don't like seeing my new growth tips on my young tree getting attacked. It can bugger up the tree. If you tree is already mature perhaps its not such an issue. We tend not to do anything normally for our adult lemon tree.

    The good thing about the white oil is its easy to make and keeps for a long time so its not really a very difficult chore at all. You spray the undersides of the leaves and also the trunks too i think.

    I think you should do it.
     
  11. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2009
    Messages:
    5,925
    Likes Received:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I'm even lazier than you sunburn! I have been trying to avoid a solution that involved regular spraying (only because I'll forget - not that I'm opposed to spraying per se!). Maybe I'll have to leave a spray bottle hanging off each tree to remind me to do it when I walk past....
     
  12. sindhooram

    sindhooram Junior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2008
    Messages:
    236
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    what is white oil please?
     
  13. sun burn

    sun burn Junior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2010
    Messages:
    1,676
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Hanging off the tree is a pretty good idea eco. I hope i can remember to try that.

    White oil is what permup describes above. I can't tell you exactly the recipe off the top of my head but its water, liquid detergent for washing dishes and vegetable oil. It makes a thin protective coat on the leaves so that the moths can't lay on it. If you google it you will find recipes to make it. You keep it in a spraying bottle. The sort that gives a fine spray. We tend to use old house hold chemical bottles. Should not be sprayed on during hot sunny days but rather in the cool or cloudy periods.
     
  14. sindhooram

    sindhooram Junior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2008
    Messages:
    236
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    HI - thanks - I had heard of the soap / oil thing but didnt know it was called white oil. How often do you have to spray before you start seeing results ? I am trying to spray for white fly and white aphids on tomatoes but not seeing huge results....
     
  15. permup

    permup Junior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2007
    Messages:
    289
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I've never had white fly, but with aphids, I prefer to "wash" them off with hose pressure rather than using chemicals. White oil won't get rid of miner, but will prevent it.
     
  16. purplepear

    purplepear Junior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2009
    Messages:
    2,456
    Likes Received:
    10
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Occupation:
    Farm manager/ educator
    Location:
    Hunter Valley New South Wales
    Home Page:
    Climate:
    warm temperate - some frost - changing every year
    White fly is best controlled with a sticky bait. we use Vegemite lids with Vaseline in them because they are yellow and the flies gets stuck to the goo they can't help themselves.
     

Share This Page

-->