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University of California
UC Master Gardeners, Santa Clara County, CA
What causes young, healthy citrus leaves to become gnarled and disfigured and what can be done about it? This damage is due to the citrus leafminer moth that lays eggs on new citrus leaves. Its larvae burrow into the leaf and leave tunnels as they feed, visible as meandering serpentine mines. Our advice: don’t worry about it. Leafminers can slow the growth of young trees but even heavily damaged trees are unlikely to die. Leafminers only attack young leaves — the tough leaves of mature plants resist infestation and fruit is not affected. Damaged leaves still produce food for the tree, so don’t cut them off. If you do, it will stimulate the tree to produce more new leaves — which will attract more leafminers!
More information: Citrus Leafminer
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