Leaf Miner – (Symphyta spp.)
Few bugs are more vilified, and rightfully so, than the leaf miner. These common, destructive, and invasive bugs cause massive damage to some of the most incredible trees. One female can lay several hundred eggs during her life. In our climate it is possible for there to be 3 generations in one growing season leading to tens of thousands of eggs. The eggs are laid inside the leaves of the tree affording them protection. Once hatched the larvae proceed to consume the inside of the leaves leaving very noticeable spots or trails. Once they have matured to a juvenile the emerge from the leaf and fall to the ground. Burrowing in the soil they form a cocoon and transform into the adult. The adult flies up into the tree and starts to lay eggs, continuing the cycle. Although these destructive bugs do not outright kill the tree, they cause it massive shock making it much more susceptible to other factors such as other bugs and drought. The combination of these factors eventually overwhelms the tree and causes death.
Due to the fact the eggs are lain in the leaf and the larvae live between the leaves surfaces chemical sprays are completely ineffective on these bugs. Even when they emerge and fall to the ground the are burrowed in the soil and wrapped in a cocoon, again rendering sprays useless. The adult fly can be sprayed but they are so small, vast and spread out it is highly inefficient and yields poor to no results. Until now cleaning away the dead leaves, pruning out the worst hit areas and ensuring the tree had enough water and fertilizer was the only way to combat these hugely invasive pests. And even with all that it was merely a drop in the ocean.
Much to the delight of our treelot staff and customers we now have a much more efficient way to eliminate these pests. Steinernema feltiae are beneficial nematodes. A nematode is a miniscule roundworm. Less than 1mm long and 1/500th of an inch in diameter they may be small, but their impact is huge. When placed in an infected area they actively seek out the cocooned larvae. Once found they burrow into the insect and release a symbiotic bacteria. This bacteria kills the larvae extremely quickly and allows the nematode to reproduce. These new, juvenile nematodes go on a search and destroy mission of their own. Actively eradicating the next generation of leaf miner before it can lay eggs. Able to withstand cool to hot temperatures (14 -30 degrees C) they are best applied in the spring. As long as the soil is kept moist, they will do the rest. Truly efficient and with one purpose these tiny friends will make the difference in keeping a tree healthy or not.
These non-invasive species are 100% natural. Incredibly efficient. Safe to use on any crop including cannabis. Are completely safe for adults, children, pets, and wildlife. Play well with other predator bugs, so if you also have an issue with another type of pest that can also be dealt with. Read on below to find the right predator for your crops needs..