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Citrus Leafminer season has started early

Treatment reminder:

Leaf miner season has begun; time to treat your citrus leaves.


White leafminer trails and yellow leafminer larva.

What is it again?

“Citrus leafminer” is a leaf deforming disease that will impact just about every untreated citrus tree in the US (and elsewhere).  It causes a lot of damage and can be devastating to young trees.  The disease is caused by the larva of a tiny month that eats its way through the under-surface of a leaf.  The bug came to the US relatively recently and is now widespread.

This damage taught me the lesson to spray spinosid untill November.

New untreated flush attacked by leaf miners. Compared to older protected-treated leaves in background which are not damaged. This damage taught me the lesson to spray with spinosid until November.

Earlier each year:

The disease hits in the warmer months and the leafminer season seems to be happening earlier each year.  I am not sure if I am just noticing it occurring earlier or if global warming is causing it to happen earlier each year. Regardless, the disease has begun last month (May) and this short post is just a reminder that it is time to start treating your trees again.

Leaf uncurled to show white leafminer trails and yellow leaf miner larvae

Leaf uncurled to show white leafminer trails and yellow leaf miner larvae

More info:

I have written a complete article about leafminer a few years ago. It covers everything from diagnosis, cause and treatment options. That article is up-to-date. For more info, you can get to that Citrus Leafminer: Diagnosis and Treatment article via the hypertext link.  I always use the organic spray mix that is detailed in the article.  It works great for me, but there are other treatment options.

Happy gardening!


About Thomas Osborne, MD

Dr. Osborne is a Harvard trained Radiologist and Neuroradiologist who loves to share his insight about medicine and gardening.


  1. Hi Doc.
    Many of your photos do not open on Goole’s web review

    /Users/stevelohn/Desktop/Screen Shot 2016-06-19 at 7.51.26 PM.png

    • Thomas Osborne, MD

      Hey Steve.
      Thanks for the heads up.
      I was not able to see your .png.
      However, ill look into it.
      Any additional info appreciated.

  2. Nani Balakrishnan

    Hello Dr:

    I found your article when looking for organic control for citrus leafminer and I love it! The complete and authentic info and the lifelike pictures are awesome. I live in the Sacramento metropolitan area (USDA Zone 9B). My problem is still in an early stage. can I follow the regimen you’ve recommended for SoCal and start treating now until mid-Nov? Thanks and sincere appreciation for sharing such precious information and your valuable experience.


    • Thomas Osborne, MD

      Hi Nani
      Thanks for the great feedback.
      Awesome to hear that I could be of help.
      You are very welcome.

      The treatment should be effective for any geographic region.
      With the exception that in the warmer areas such as the tropics, people have to treat all year long.

      The leaf miner treatment will kill the larva and prevent further harm but it wont reverse damage that has already occurred.

      Thanks again and best of luck.


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