Lilac: Lilac leafminer

categories: Lilac Lilac Insects Ornamentals Shrubs

revision date: 2022-12-03 12:00

Lilac leafminer damage.
Lilac leafminer damage
Photo by: R.S. Byther


Leafminers feed by removing green tissue from between the upper and lower surfaces of the leaves. Symptoms of feeding by the green larvae include large brown blotches which may distort the leaves. The adult lilac leafminer is a small brown moth. The lilac leafminer may also infest privet.

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, or pick and destroy, infested leaves to kill larvae.
  • 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.

  • If you choose to use a pesticide, apply when mined blotches are first noticed or at least before leaves fall.
  • Repeat as necessary (do not make more than one application per year if using Bayer Advanced Garden Tree & Shrub Insect Control Conc).
  • 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.

Approved Pesticides

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