WSU Extension


Boron deficiency 
Green algae 
Phytophthora leaf & twig blight 
Red leaf spotting 
Brown soft scale 
Cottony camellia scale 
Holly bud moth 
Holly leafminer 
Lecanium scale 
Orange tortrix 

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Caption: Holly leafminer
Photo by: R.S. Byther
Holly : Holly leafminer
(revision date: 4/4/2022)

The holly leafminer feeds on English (Ilex aquifolium), American (I. opaca) and Japanese (I. crenata) hollies, tiny green blisters on the lower leaf surface often indicate sites where the females deposited eggs. Characteristic damage by larvae includes the presence of yellow, brown, or reddish mines on the leaves. Initially the mines are fairly narrow and winding, but become large blotches as the larvae overwinters in the leaf. The upper and lower leaf surfaces remain after feeding, but are easily separated. Larvae are yellowish and about 1/16" long. The adult is a small black fly.
Management Options

Non-Chemical Management
  • Hand-pick and destroy infested leaves in the fall.
  • Pinch leaves to kill leafminers inside mines.
  • Natural predators may help control populations. Encourage predators such as green lacewings and spiders.
Select non-chemical management options as your first choice!

Chemical Management

If you choose to use a pesticide, apply just before bloom. Homeowners should not make foliar applications to trees over 10 ft tall. Consult a commercial pesticide applicator for treatment of trees and shrubs over 10 ft. tall.


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Caption: Holly leafminer
Photo by: R.S. Byther
Caption: Holly leafminer
Photo by: A.L. Antonelli