House Plants/Leaf Miner

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Question
This is three years i have bad luck with leaf miners.the leaf miners are in the types of seed starting mixes i use.I used three different typs.As soon as my tomatoes gets their first leaves they are full of miners trails.what can i do this year to help this

Answer
Hi Gilbert,
  Leaf miners do not come from the soil or seed starting mixes. They are the larva stage of flying insects.
Your options for control of these insects are pretty limited.
Because they burrow under the leaf surface, they are immune to most sprayed on control measures. Also you cannot use any kind of systemic pesticide on edible plants.

Leaf miners usually do not do enough damage to plants to seriously harm them. However keeping the leaf miner population as low as possible is best. Here are a few things you can do to keep the population under control.

~ First, keep the plants as healthy as possible with proper watering, fertilizer and control of other, more damaging insects.
~ Remove and destroy leaves with leaf miners in them. Don't remove the very first leaves from seedlings though. Even with leaf miners in them, the leaves are still able to do their job.
~ Remove any egg clusters as soon as they appear on the leaves.
~ You can try spraying the leaves with neem oil. Neem oil is safe on edible plants (up to the day before harvest) and will also help to control other insect populations.

I hope this helps. If you have any questions or need additional information please don't hesitate to ask.
     Thanks
       Tracy  

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Tracy

Expertise

I am knowledgeable and experienced (professionally) in the care of many different kinds of houseplants as well as the pests and diseases common to houseplants. I have had a lot of experience and success with most propagation techniques. I am also knowledgeable and experienced with artificial lighting for plants. I can answer questions about all aspects of 'indoor gardening'. Not only questions about growing foliage plants and starting seeds under artificial plant lighting but also questions about artificial plant light system set up, supplemental artificial lighting and cost. ~ I can help identify plants accurately ONLY if you submit a picture of the plant with your question.~

Experience

I usually always have at least 70 houseplants at all times. I have done extensive research, education and have over 20 years of experience with houseplants, indoor gardening, interior landscaping and artificial plant lighting. About 30% of my houseplants are grown exclusively under artificial plant lighting. Many of the other houseplants that are growing in natural light are also given supplemental lighting using artificial plant light. I have 5 complete artificial plant light systems that I designed and built.

Publications
I have written extensively about plants, all aspects of houseplant care, indoor gardening and artificial plant lighting. I have written many informational blogs, articles and 'plant care guides' for many websites, forums and some online horticultural communities.

Education/Credentials
I have knowledge and experience on the care of houseplants, the different kinds of houseplants, pests and diseases common to houseplants, indoor gardening/landscaping and artificial plant lighting.

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