Leaf Miner

Liriomyza species

Leaf miner damage on tomato leaf
Leaf miner damage on tomato leaf [Credit: Ana Keliikuli ]

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Host Plants:

In the garden: Many flowers
On Crops: Leafy greens, peas, tomatoes

Where Found:

Worldwide, especially in mild winter climates


Meandering light trails in leaves are the eating paths left by leaf miners, which are the larvae of small black flies.


Leaf miner damage is usually cosmetic, though in severe case plants can be weakened.

Preventing Problems:

Use row covers (garden fleece) if you often see leaf miner damage in spinach or chard. Yellow sticky traps placed near plants can capture many adults before they lay eggs on plants but they should be used with caution in case they trap other beneficial bugs.

Managing Outbreaks:

Pinch off, smash and compost badly damaged leaves. Spraying insecticides is of little use because the leaf miners are protected inside the leaves.


Many tiny wasps are leaf miner predators.

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