The term leaf miner refers to the larvae of various species of insects that live within the leaves of plants and consume their tissue.
Leaf miners are known for the large blotches and winding tunnels that they create in a leaves’ tissue. While this effects the aesthetics of the plant, leaf miners do not usually significantly affect the health of a plant.
Due to the fact that diatomaceous earth must come in contact with an insect in order for it to lacerate its body and kill it, DE is not likely to be effective against leaf miners that are protected inside of the leaf. Most leaf miners spend their entire larval period feeding within the leaf, with some also pupating inside the leaf mine. However, leaf miners may also cut their way out of the leaf when they are fully grown in order to pupate in the soil. Therefore, applying diatomaceous earth to the leaves of plants, as well as the soil below, may be helpful in killing these miners that exit the plant tissue and drop onto the ground below.
Please note that Red Lake Earth is known to kill most crawling insects, including those that may be beneficial to your garden. When applying DE to your plants, it is therefore important that you try to keep the product off of any surface that these beneficial insects may come in contact with.
Image by Smabs Sputzer