little white egg things

wenderina(9 Berkeley, CA)May 13, 2008

hello-

this year I'm growing Swiss Chard for the first time. I just got back from a few days away to find tiny white eggs that are about 2mm long each and quite thin, all in rows of 4-8 eggs on the undersides of the leaves (they look like someone neatly arranged a row of white lint). They are so small that I can't even photograph them properly. I also found chew holes on some of the otherwise beautiful leaves, but am not sure if these white eggs are hatching and feeding. I know that it's probably close to impossible to identify these eggs either as those of a garden friend or pest, but I was curious to see if someone might know of something that feed on Swiss Chard or leafy greens (or alternatively, something that feeds on the something which feeds on Chard or greens!). any input is welcome and many thanks in advance.

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cynthia_h

If you can sacrifice a seedling, find one with these egg things on them and take it to Westbrae Nursery on Gilman or maybe Berkeley Hort (I personally can't stand Berkeley Hort b/c of how they treat those of us who don't have buckets of money to spend, but they *do* know their stuff) for identification. Yabusaki Gardens on Dwight Way is also good.

Ask them what the things are and what they recommend to get rid of them.

Good luck!

Cynthia H.
El Cerrito, CA

    Bookmark   May 13, 2008 at 8:08PM
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hamiltongardener(CAN 6a)

Those are leaf miners.

Wipe off the eggs as much as you can and do it every night if possible. Kill any grey flies you see landing on your chard. If you miss an egg you will see winding tunnels in your chard leaf. This is the larva eating it's way between the outer layers of the leaf. Pluck it off and destroy it before it reaches the next stage of dropping into the soil where it develops into a fly, starting the cycle over again. If you control the first generation of these little devils as best you can, the second generation won't cause nearly as much damage.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2008 at 10:23PM
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jean001(z8aPortland, OR)

The description of "tiny white eggs that are about 2mm long each and quite thin, all in rows of 4-8 eggs on the undersides of the leaves " does *not* fit what leafminer eggs are.

Go back to square one. Take some to a knowledgeable person.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2008 at 2:06AM
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hamiltongardener(CAN 6a)

The description of "tiny white eggs that are about 2mm long each and quite thin, all in rows of 4-8 eggs on the undersides of the leaves " does *not* fit what leafminer eggs are.

I'm trying to figure out what part of the description does not sound like leafminer eggs.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2008 at 6:24PM
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tsugajunkie z5 SE WI

Did they looks like this? If so, they could be leaf miner eggs.

tj

Here is a link that might be useful: Egg Whites

    Bookmark   May 16, 2008 at 8:16PM
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hamiltongardener(CAN 6a)

For piotra01...

    Bookmark   May 20, 2008 at 3:57PM
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jean001(z8aPortland, OR)

Sorry, I obviously was thinking about something else.

P.S.: 1st error I ever made.
:>)

    Bookmark   May 20, 2008 at 7:40PM
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wenderina(9 Berkeley, CA)

thanks for the suggestions and input to this thread in May. I hadn't had a chance to ask the local nurseries but I did notice that leafminer tunnels started appearing as some of you thought might happen, and then I started to notice a few flies with orange eyes. Did more research and found out that in some areas they are known as beet flies. I took the link from tsugajunkie and saw the the spinach leafminer grows into a fly with orange eyes, and some of the pest management websites have indicated that the two are very closely related. I washed off the eggs that were still attached to leaves, leaf by leaf, then I cut out the leafminer tunnels from affected leaves, then put a floating row cover over the row. Went out every morning and afternoon and caught the emerging flies. It took a few weeks but the Chard has been doing great. We have Chard for dinner several times a week. Thanks again for all your input!

    Bookmark   August 17, 2008 at 3:31PM
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