Leaf miners

Asked January 15, 2017, 3:35 PM EST

I am a South Dakota master gardener. Currently I am wintering in Florida. My question has to do with leaf miners on tomato plants that I started from seed down here. I have never had this problem in tomatoes when I've been in South Dakota. The question is: is there a way to get rid of them when they are in the larva stage making the squiggly lines in the leaves? The tomatoes were started from seed in potting mix in containers. The climate here is zone 11 B and very warm and humid.

Monroe County Florida

1 Response

Leaf miner stage (similar to a caterpillar) that damages the leaf is feeding inside the leaf. http://erec.ifas.ufl.edu/tomato-scouting-guide/bugs/leafminer.shtml

Best to learn to live with some leaf miner leaf damage, keep the plant healthy, remove leaves with over 50% damage and allow biological control and cultural controls to help keep it in check. Also review the fact sheet links provided.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/in877
http://entomology.ifas.ufl.edu/creatures/veg/leaf/a_serpentine_leafminer.htm

Bear in mind growing larger tomato or non-heat resistant will be ending very soon due to the higher than usual temperatures, which will cause blossom drop.