How to Manage Pests

Pests in Gardens and Landscapes

Tentiform leafminers—Phyllonorycter spp.

Adult tentiform leafminers are small, golden brown moths with white bands or spots that give them a silvery appearance when they fly in sunlight. Their hind wings are gray with long hairs on the margin. At rest, wings are held like a roof over the body.

Life cycle


Damage is restricted to foliage. The upper side of the leaf takes on a light, spotted appearance, and leaves may be puckered. Snakelike mines begin to become evident on the leaf. Severe infestations (twenty mines per leaf) may cause defoliation.


Leafminers are generally not pests in organic apple or pear orchards or where IPM is practiced. Populations are kept at low levels by several species of parasites. Occasional outbreaks of this insect occur, possibly the result of the chemical disruption of their parasites. Treatment of backyard trees should not be necessary.

Adult tentiform leafminer
Adult tentiform leafminer

An advanced leafminer infestation
An advanced leafminer infestation

Statewide IPM Program, Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California
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