Ana's notes: It is important to differentiate leafmining flies and leafmining caterpillars, since the management of the two groups of pests is different. The leafminers attacking coffee, cotton, groundnut, soybean and citrus are caterpillars, not leafmining flies. Some work was done on neem for control of leafminers on tomatoes some years back, but it was not published. I am looking for it; it should be added when available.
Leafmining flies (Liriomyza spp.)
Leafmining flies are common pests of okra in Kenya. Mining of leaves by larvae may reduce photosynthetic activity, affecting development of flowers and pods. In severe infestation, the leaves might be completely mined. As a result the leaves dry and fall off prematurely, causing loss of vigour and turgidity in the plant. This may eventually result in plant wilting.
- Check the seedlings and older plants regularly.
- Conserve natural enemies. Parasitic wasps, in particular, usually keep leafminers under control. However, the indiscriminate use of pesticides disrupts the natural control resulting in leafminer. outbreaks
- Spray neem extracts.