Citrus Leaf Miner

Do you have leaf damage on your citrus leaves like in the above pictures?  This is caused by the asiatic citrus leaf miner.  These pests attack new growth on citrus trees.  I was free of this until I bought several citrus trees from a friend of mine and didn't look for this pest.  They are very difficult to get rid of with the usually available bug sprays available at the big box retailers.  The miners are well protected as they are inside the citrus leaf. The citrus leaf miner Phyllocnistis citrella is the larvae of a very small moth (4 mm wingspan). The moth lays its eggs on the new growth flushes and once the eggs hatch the larvae tunnel into the new leaves leaving a silver trail and cause the leaves to distort and curl, which is why their damage is often referred to as ‘leaf curl’. The larvae pupate in the leaf and emerge as a moth to repeat the cycle again, there can be up to 15 generations per year.  

Last year I had good success controlling this pest using Fertilome "Borer, Bagworm, Leafminer & Tent Caterpillar Spray."   I paid $16 for 16 ounces.  This stuff is very expensive as the active ingredient is only 0.5% or $200 per ounce of active ingredient of spinosad.  

This year I am using Conserve SC.  It costs $125 for 32 ounces of 11.6% of active ingredient or $33.78 per ounce.  However, it costs 6 times less to use than the fertilome.  I am applying it once a month as the limit is 6 applications per year.  I am hoping it will also kill the leaf footed bugs that have been ruining my fruit every year.

From my web surfing, I have found out that this spray is manufactured using bio-tech techniques and not the chemical synthesis usually used for pesticides.  As always, follow the label on any bug spray.  Another helpful preventative practice is to spray the citrus leaves weekly with dormant oil using the summer dosage.  The leafminer moth won't lay eggs on leaves that are oily.