leafminer damage

Leafminer damage on chestnut oak. Photo: Laura Lazarus, North Carolina Division of Forest Resources, Bugwood.org

Updated: March 1, 2023

About leafminers

  • Leafminers feed on leaf tissue between the upper and lower surfaces of a leaf.
  • They may be the immature stages of moths (caterpillars), beetles, flies, or sawflies.
  • Most cause little damage. Several are pests of shade trees. These include the holly leafminerslocust leafminer.
  • Birch leafminer rarely attacks black, yellow, or river birch (the birch commonly planted in Maryland).
  • Oak blotch leafminer (native moth) attacks scrub, post, black, red and white oaks.
  • The larvae (caterpillars) feed just below the upper surface of the leaf, causing irregular brown blotch mines.
  • These are minor pests and control is usually unnecessary.
birch leafminer damage
Leafminer damage on birch
leafminer feeding damage on tulip poplar leaf
Leafminer feeding damage on tulip poplar leaf


locust leafminer damage
Locust leafminer adult and the damage on black locust leaves