Do you ever notice that there is something odd about your cannabis? Perhaps you noticed a visible tunnel behind it? That could be due to leaf miners. These are larval stages of many types of insects, including sawflies, moths, wasps, and even beetles, with each of them going through the major phases that bugs do.
It’s usually during the larval stage that you see this since they’re usually inflicting this damage through the leaves. These leaf miners usually target the tissue in the leaves, instead of munching on the surface of this for a few reasons. This is something that they do because it fills them up, but also is good if they must hide from their predators. They also do target the more juicier tissue as well, usually with less cellulose, which involves a fibrous structure within the tissue of the plant.
While it’s effective for the larvae, the mechanism for survival does take a large toll on the plants themselves, and it can damage the leaves and really impact the plant growth. The best way to fix this is through management, which we’re going to discuss right now in this next section.
How do they Spread
They spread through the eggs that the females lay. When they hatch, they usually start to put tunnels into the leaves to help offset the hunger. Eventually if they survive long enough, they morph into the pupae and eventually into adults as well. When male and females mate in the bud population, this actually does contribute to the miner eggs as well, and while it does play a good role in perpetuating the specs, it can actually be a big problem for plants, so the key is to actually disrupt the cycle too.
What does the damage look Like?
Usually, it’s a white wining brushstroke that’s over a green sort of canvas, creating little trails that spread out, twist, and turn through the innards of a leaf, leaving marks that are visible. At first they may seem wormlike, which is why they may actually believe that it’s a parasite, but it’s actually a sign of something else.
How to treat this
The best thing for you to do is to take action before they further damage things. Most cannabis growers do have a range of ways to deal with these. You can always use chemicals, but the best way to treat this is more organic sort of means, since pesticides can cause major environmental damage. One way people do this is through beneficial predators. These are basically predatory insects in the garden that keep the numbers down that offer more and more biodiversity.
As they complete their job, this of course serves food for the other organisms that are in there. As one of the best ways to take out leaf miners, the Diglyphus isaea is a good way to actually deal with this. These are wasps that end up on the surface of the leaves, finding the leaf miners and then puncturing them with a sting which results in paralysis as well.
When immobilized they actually will lay the eggs directly on the prey, and once they end up hatching, they fest on the leaf miners on the inner part of this. It’s gruesome, and it works, and if you’re looking for the best way to tret this, this is how. While leaf miners may seem a bit small, they can cause a ton of damage, and for cannabis growers, learning how to properly take care of this is vital for the success of the garden.