Leaf Miner Beetle Damage to Crops

Leaf miner beetles seek out leafy greens. They lay their eggs often unnoticed and when the larva hatches it burrows into the leaf and lives inside it tunneling around eating the inside of the leaf. They eventually drop into the soil and burrow down into the dirt to wait for next year's crop. This is why it's a good idea to rotate crops every year and not grow the same veggies in the same place.

The organic way of dealing with this pest is physically checking each leaf for the eggs or insects. Using neem oil or other organic pesticides can be helpful. You can use row covers and cover the row right after you finish planting, but if the row cover is removed the dirty buggers find the leaves and ruin whole crops! Not an easy pest to deal with. You can tell the genus of the leaf miner by the patterns it makes. They also attack some varieties of trees.

Below is a photo of our rainbow chard. They also attack the leaves of the beets and radishes. Don't compost these, as they like to hide in the soil around them. We gave up this year and fed the chard to our hens. They love the buggy surprise between the leaf fibers, we do not!

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