Leaf Miners in Seedlings

yumtomatoes(10a/FLA)September 7, 2011

On my full sized plants, I just ignore the leaf miners, but will they hurt a seedling since the seedlings have so few leaves?

Bayer makes a soil drench with imidacloprid in it that will work against leaf miners and is safe to use on vegetable plants. I use it on my roses to kill chili thrips so I already have it and could use it on the seedlings if the leaf miners are dangerous to the seedling's health.

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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

I wouldn't use a systemic insecticide on edible plants of any kind.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2011 at 12:30PM
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yumtomatoes(10a/FLA)

I know what you are saying rhizo, I feel leary of it, too, but the reality is that the commercial (non-organic) growers use it widely on edible plants. So unless you only eat organically grown vegetables/fruits/grains, you are exposed to it. It is considered non-toxic to mammals but who knows what future research may show regarding long term exposure.

I suppose I need to just hope for the best since the contact insecticides aren't effective against the leaf miners.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2011 at 3:49PM
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missingtheobvious(Blue Ridge 7a)

You can simply squish the leaf miners in the leaves when you first notice them. Or remove those leaves -- or the damaged parts of the leaves (being sure to bag and discard).

    Bookmark   September 8, 2011 at 9:10PM
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yumtomatoes(10a/FLA)

If I squash the leaf miners or remove the leaves, won't that do as much damage as the leaf miners themselves?

    Bookmark   September 8, 2011 at 9:43PM
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missingtheobvious(Blue Ridge 7a)

If you squish the leafminers, you damage a bit of the leaf, but save the remainder of the leaf from being mined. I imagine it's best to be careful not to damage the major veins.

If you remove (then bag and get rid of) the damaged leaves before the leafminers have pupated, you eliminate the next generation of miners.

In a thread earlier this year, planatus said it was safe to remove up to 30% of a tomato plant's leaves (in case of damage of one sort or another). [I can't believe I actually located that thread!]

    Bookmark   September 8, 2011 at 11:41PM
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