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How to combat citrus leafminer

How to combat citrus leafminer

The lemon miner or leaf minerscientific name Phyllocnistis citrella, is a micro moth whose larva parasitizes citrus leaves. It is a relatively difficult pest to control, since due to its nature it is difficult to attack the larva while it feeds on the leaves from inside the galleries it has created.

It is one of the most common pests that attack citrus fruits and, therefore, also one of the most feared, since they can damage citrus fruits quite a bit by feeding on the juices and not allowing them to produce new shoots, leaves or fruits. In Spain, in 1993, it caused one of the most serious plagues that the cultivation of these fruit trees has suffered in the country. if you want to learn how to fight citrus leafminerjoin us in this EcologĂ­aVerde article in which you will see several remedies, as well as ways to prevent it.

How is the citrus leafminer

The adult female of the insect is a gray moth or silver about half a centimeter in length. It lays its eggs on the developing shoots of the plant and, when the eggs hatch, the little larva makes its way into the underside of the leaf.

The eggs are transparent and very difficult to see with the naked eye, so it is easier to identify the pest by the easily identifiable galleries and thread of defecation that the larva leaves on the leaves as it feeds. When it has grown large enough, it forms a pupa near the outside of the leaf, causing the leaf to fold over the pupa. A few days later the adult emerges, ready to begin the process all over again. life cycle of the citrus leafminer.

If the pest is not too aggressive, it is most likely that the citrus leafminer treatment occurs completely naturally, because these insects have their own natural predators. If it is a serious pest, however, we will have to take measures to avoid further damage to the crop.

How to combat the citrus leafminer - How is the citrus leafminer

neem oil

The neem or neem oil It’s one of the natural and ecological insecticides most used in the treatment of all types of pests. One of its main advantages is that it lasts a long time on the plant, around 3 weeks, so in addition to killing the leafminer, it will prevent the attack of other suckers. Dilute between 3 and 5 ml per liter of water and water the plant with it.

How to combat citrus leafminer - Neem Oil

Natural predators of the citrus leafminer

resort to biological control of citrus leafminer It is a great option in case of large crops. You can resort to lacewings or to the wasp Diglyphus isaea. In any case, these are effective but expensive treatments, which are not usually used in small crops or orchards. There is also the Bacillus thuringiensisa bacterium that preys on caterpillars or larvae.

Here you can learn more about What is biological pest control, its advantages, disadvantages and examples.

Common Chiffchaff

The common chiffchaff (Phylloscopus collybita) is another example of a natural predator, although we mention it separately because it is a bird, and not other insects or bacteria. this little bird feeds on citrus leafminer larvaewhich he knows how to extract from inside the leaf without problems, as it is one of his favorite delicacies.

Potassium soap for the miner

Potassium soap is another ecological insecticide widely used against all kinds of pests, since it is non-toxic and biodegradable and harmless. Use the potassium soap for the miner it is no different than with any other pest.

  1. Dilute it in water to a concentration of between 1 and 2%.
  2. Spray it over the entire plant, paying special attention to the underside of the leaves.
  3. Apply it once a week for a month, at dawn or dusk and if possible, without wind or rain.

Here we tell you everything about How to make potassium soap and how to use it.

How to combat the citrus leafminer - Potassium soap for the leafminer


Pepper is another good citrus leafminer treatment. This is how to prepare pepper for the lemon miner and other citrus:

  1. Boil some black pepper seeds in a saucepan for about 20 minutes, until it reaches a good solution.
  2. Make sure to ventilate the kitchen well while you do it, and let it cool afterwards, before straining it at the end.
  3. Apply the infusion with a spray on the affected branches and leaves.


This is a insecticide for citrus leafminer very powerful, which is prepared with several already very powerful ingredients separately. To make apichi for the miner You will need: unground black pepper, garlic and chilies as hot as possible, as well as 96Âș alcohol.

  1. In a mixer or blender, grind the chiles slowly until they form a smooth paste, being very careful not to touch it and then touch your eyes.
  2. Then add the same amount of crushed garlic and finally the crushed pepper, in half the amount of the other two ingredients.
  3. Add the same weight of alcohol as chili and stir well to let it macerate overnight.
  4. The next morning, dilute it in water in a ratio of 20 parts of water for each part of alcohol used. If you use tap water, let it sit for at least 48 hours beforehand.
  5. Cover and let it rest in the shade for two weeks and then filter the mixture.
  6. Dilute it again to 10% in water and you can now apply it with a sprayer on the citrus fruit affected by the leafminer.
How to combat the citrus leafminer - Apichi

chromatic traps

Another option that we recommend if you want to know how to get rid of citrus leafminer is to use chromatic traps. The miner also has a predilection for the yellow colorso the chromatic traps of this color are another great option that prevents us from contaminating the soil with chemicals, although they can also attract and trap other insects.

How to prevent citrus leafminer

In addition to knowing what is used to combat the citrus leafminer worm, it is very important to know how to prevent it to avoid the problem. For prevent citrus leafminer We recommend two important precautions:

  • If you keep your citrus clean of adventitious plants in its surroundings, it will be more difficult for the pest to reach it.
  • In the same way, a black mesh that covers the base of the tree will make it difficult for the insect to continue its life cycle, since the larvae will not be able to bury themselves when they fall and will be susceptible to their natural predators.

Now that you know all this about the citrus leafminer or lemon leafminer, we advise you to learn more about Pests and diseases of lemon trees and Pests and diseases of citrus fruits and their control.

If you want to read more articles similar to How to combat citrus leafminerwe recommend that you enter our category .

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