Azalea: Azalea leafminer

categories: Azalea Azalea Insects Ornamentals Shrubs

revision date: 2022-11-30 12:00

Azalea leafminer.
Azalea leafminer
Photo by: A.L. Antonelli


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

Use Integrated Pest Management (IPM) for successful plant problem management.

Non-chemical Management

Select non-chemical management options as your first choice!

  • 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.

Chemical Management

IMPORTANT: Visit Home and Garden Fact Sheets for more information on using pesticides.

  • 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.

Approved Pesticides

Listed below are examples of pesticides that are legal in Washington. Always read and follow all label directions.