Boxwood Leafminer: Effective Treatment Strategies

The Boxwood Leafminer, a notorious fly larvae that infests Boxwood leaves, poses a significant threat to these shrubs across the United States. Detecting and addressing Leafminer infestations early on is crucial for preserving the health and vitality of your Boxwood plants. In this article, we will explore various treatment tips to combat this destructive insect pest.

Understanding the Boxwood Leafminer

If you suspect your Boxwood has fallen victim to Leafminer, it is essential to consult a Certified Arborist promptly to assess the situation. While there are several signs that may indicate an infestation, professional expertise is necessary for an accurate diagnosis. Keep an eye out for the following symptoms of Boxwood Leafminer damage:

  • Discolored yellowish leaves
  • Unhealthy, dried-out appearance
  • Premature leaf drop
  • Small blisters on the undersides of leaves
  • Exposed larvae (tiny maggots) when the leaf is peeled apart
  • Skins from the larvae dangling from the leaves (often observed in spring)

Additionally, adult Leafminers, characterized by their orange coloration, may hover around the infested bush. A gentle shake can make them take flight.

Effective Boxwood Leafminer Treatment Strategies

Once you have confirmed the presence of Boxwood Leafminer, it is crucial to take immediate action using the following treatments to eradicate the pest and save your Boxwood shrubs.

Understanding the Life Cycle

Gaining insight into the life cycle of Boxwood Leafminers is essential for effectively combating them. Females lay eggs on the undersides of leaves, which then hatch into larvae. These larvae move within the leaves until they emerge as orange, mosquito-like flying insects. However, their adult lifespan is short, lasting only about 24 hours. It is important to note that only one generation of Boxwood Leafminers occurs each year. Understanding their life cycle helps in identification and treatment.

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Shake and Spray

During the spring months, typically between May and June, the larvae mature into flying adults. Although they tend to remain near the shrub, a vigorous shake can cause all the midges to take flight. This moment presents an ideal opportunity to spray insecticide and target the exposed Leafminers. It is important to remember that this method is effective for Leafminers that have exited the leaves.

Start Pruning

Pruning your Boxwood plants by cutting back approximately 10% to 30% of the foliage significantly reduces the number of infected leaves. While this approach may not eliminate all the insects, it drastically reduces the infestation. Be sure to collect and securely bag the pruned branches and leaves to prevent further spread.

Call a Certified Arborist

Seeking the assistance of a professional Certified Arborist ensures the most effective treatment for Boxwood Leafminer infestations. These experts will conduct a thorough assessment, provide a precise diagnosis, and administer the most suitable insect treatment. Given the life cycle of Leafminers, treatments often involve a systemic approach, as it is the most successful method of combating this pest. Regular preventive care is equally important to maintain the well-being of your Boxwood plants, making them more resilient against pest threats.

Midges on Boxwood

Boxwood Leafminer Treatment at Ames Farm Center

If you suspect a Boxwood Leafminer issue or have observed damage on your shrubs, contact the Certified Arborists at Ames Farm Center. With their expertise, you can address Boxwood Leafminer infestations effectively. Remember, preventive care and routine maintenance are key to keeping your Boxwood plants thriving and resilient against potential pest threats.

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For more information, visit the Ames Farm Center website or call (610) 840-2655.