Tomatoes are quite difficult to grow as they cannot be protected much in the winter months. Leaf miner is a broad term that is often used when describing larvae and grubs of various species of insects that live on the leaves and eat the tissue of the plants. There are several leaf mining insects like moths, flies and even some types of beetles and wasps.
Leaf miners are pretty difficult to get rid of as insecticides are not strong enough for most of them. So, you really need to use lethal quantities of it and this may not be good for the plant and the environment in the end.
Also, leaf miners are naturally protected from their predators because they feed on the tissues on the interiors of the leaf. So, the leaves act as a canopy and protect them. Most of their predators cannot spot them in their hiding place. In addition, leaf miners are pretty selective about eating leaves that have minimal amount of cellulose.
The best way to save your tomato patch is by preparing for them before hand. Leaf miners are naturally attracted to fruit bearing plants. If you find a lot of yellow or dried up leaves on the tomato plants, then it could possibly be an infestation of leaf miners. So, before you put in the tomato seeds for sprouting, make sure you have prepared the soil with an extra dosage of fertilizers and insecticides. Also, apply neem cake because they fight several insects, including leaf miners, rather effectively. When you see the plants sprout out and when they grow about two inches in height, you should apply the neem cake once again to the soil.
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