Yellow sticky traps are an effective way to monitor fly populations. Alternatively, if you have a large patch, keep a count of the leaves found with mines. Regular monitoring can help with general assessment and decision-making regarding the next steps of action. Rational thinking may avoid unnecessary applications of pesticides and wasted money!
Dispose of any leaves that have been mined or have eggs on them, but never dispose of these in compost and food waste bins.
Deeply infested leaves can be burnt when the growing season terminates to destroy any persisting pupae.
By practising good housekeeping in the garden, e.g. regularly pruning and clearing debris; you'll make your yard less attractive to pests.
It's proposed that flies like this dislike strong-smelling herbs, such as lavender, thyme, lemon balm, fennel and basil. Planting these near your vegetable patches won't do you any harm!
Another suggestion would be to grow plants beneath an insect-proof mesh.
It's advised to rotate crops every year, and by doing so, infection by overwintering pupae will be less likely.
Leaf mining flies have an abundance of natural enemies, so ideally, you want these to be controlling your pest populations. It's been found that areas with higher densities of these insects experience less severe symptoms from pests. These can be attracted to your green spaces using a few simple tricks.
- Plant an array of indigenous plants, the more diversity, the better!
- Install mini-habitats; leave out a pile of logs and sticks, a bucket of water, or, incorporate some climbing plants in the garden.
- Reduce your use of pesticides. Using pesticides can harm natural enemies, and this can cause pest populations to increase the following year.
When a leafminer infests a plant, one of the best modes of action is to encourage fast growth. Well-established plants that grow quickly can sometimes expel any eggs within the tissue.
Crops with insufficient irrigation, water and fertilizer are much more prone to attack than a plant receiving the correct quantities.