Citrus leaf miners are tiny moths that lay their eggs on the leaves of citrus trees. The larvae hatch and tunnel inside the leaves, creating winding mines that can distort and damage the foliage. While a heavy infestation can be unsightly and reduce fruit production, there are several ways to deal with citrus leaf miners:
- Encourage natural enemies: Ladybugs, wasps, and parasitic flies are natural predators of citrus leaf miners. You can attract them to your garden by planting flowering herbs and shrubs that provide them with food and shelter.
- Handpicking: If the infestation is mild, you can simply pick off and discard the affected leaves. Be sure to dispose of them in a sealed bag to prevent the larvae from emerging and reinfesting your tree.
- Neem oil spray: Neem oil is a natural insecticide that can be effective against citrus leaf miners. It works by disrupting the hormones of the larvae, preventing them from feeding and developing. Apply neem oil spray according to the manufacturer's instructions, making sure to coat both the upper and lower surfaces of the leaves.