The leaf miner is the larvae of insects – typically of flies but also of moths and sometimes beetles – that are burrowed into the tissue of the leaf. Eggs will appear as small bumps on the underside of the leaves. When hatched, they feed on the tissue, leaving recognisable lines or mine tracks.

Because the larvae are nestled within the protection of the leaf, they are largely resistant to sprays and predators. The key is in controlling the numbers of the egg-laying pests and maintaining healthy plants that are more resistant to attack.

Although the leaf miner won’t wipe out your crop, it’s unsightly and particularly damaging to the plant’s new growth so we’re always determined to keep them out of our veggie patch.

Optimal Conditions

Early spring


Curled up new growth with mine tracks through the affected leaves and small bumps on their undersides, this being their eggs.


Maintaining healthy plants and having a diverse range of herbs and flowers will mean that your plants are better able to resist attack, and you will have help from friendly predators to control the perpetrators. As the leaf miner are attracted to new growth, avoid over fertilising your plants.


Yellow sticky traps will attract those flies that are typically responsible for the leaf miners. Pheromone lures that attract the male leaf miners are also handy in suppressing mating. Mulching the soil will help to break the cycle as this will create a barrier to the soil, which is where the larvae pupate and hatch into mature, egg-laying insects.


Cut affected leaves and discard in a sealed bag rather than throwing in the compost bin.

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