Holly: Holly leafminer

categories: Holly Holly Insects Ornamentals Shrubs

revision date: 2022-12-05 12:00

Holly leafminer trails.
Holly leafminer trails
Photo by: R.S. Byther


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

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

Non-chemical Management

Select non-chemical management options as your first choice!

  • 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.

Chemical Management

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

  • None recommended.

Additional Image