Leaf Miners are the larvae of flies, moths or beetles that feed or “mine” between the upper and lower epidermal leaf surfaces.
The larvae tunnel through the leaf creating a “winding mine” or occasionally a “blotch-like mine”. There are many varieties of leaf miners, the most serious being the Citrus Leaf Miner. However, the one most likely to affect your home garden feed on ornamental plants. Among the most common plants to be attacked are azaleas, bougainvillea, ixora and oak trees. The good news is Leaf Miner populations in Florida are generally kept in check by a number of parasitic wasps that attack the larvae. Leaf Miners are difficult to control without professional assistance because the larvae are protected from sprays by the plant leaf itself. If you see spiraling patterns in your plants or tress, you likely have a problem and should call a professional.