WSU Extension

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Caption: Azalea leafminer
Photo by: A.L. Antonelli
  
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Azalea : Azalea leafminer
(revision date: 3/10/2017)


Biology
The azalea leafminer is a small yellowish caterpillar that grows to about 1/8 to 1/4" long. Young larvae mine leaves, leaving blisterlike blotches that later turn brown. Older larvae roll and skeletonize leaves. Damaged leaves may drop from the plant. Azalea leafminers are mainly an aesthetic problem, though occasionally they may destroy entire leaves.
Management Options

Non-Chemical Management
  • Pinch infested leaves to kill mining larvae.
  • Pick off and destroy rolled leaves or pinch to kill larvae.
  • Avoid use of broad-spectrum insecticides that may kill natural parasites and predators.
Select non-chemical management options as your first choice!

Chemical Management


Apply first application just after ALL bloom has dropped or wilted. Second application in 2-3 weeks. Continue if infestation persists. Most insecticides are poisonous to bees. Avoid acephate if there is any possibility of pesticide drifting onto nearby blooming plants. These products are toxic to bees.

Listed below are examples of pesticides that are legal in Washington. Always read and follow all label directions.
  • Bonide Captain Jack's Deadbug Brew RTSpray [Organic]
    Active ingredient: spinosad  |  EPA reg no: 4-471
  • Bonide Systemic Insect Control
    Active ingredient: acephate  |  EPA reg no: 239-2461-4
  • This list may not include all products registered for this use.
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Caption: Azalea leafminer
Photo by: A.L. Antonelli