Thursday, March 11, 2010

My First Leaf Miners :/

The little buggers went after my quinoa! At first I thought it must have been a hell of a lot hotter than I thought on Tuesday and that I must have forgotten to water one of them. Wednesday morning all the leaves were shriveled up. Then I notice that they were shriveled in a funny way and I though "omg they have that curling disease!"

Then I saw it was starting to affect the other quinoas so I investigated closer and found (dundundun):

Hmm there is something odd about those dark spots within those odd bubbles on these leaves. Perhaps it is time for some exploratory surgery here...

AHA! That's it - that's one of them! That pale wormy thing! I discovered 2 or 3 others between this and the other plants. All affected leaves were immediately snipped off and deposited in the trashcan with the tightest lid on the other side of the house. A quick internet search says they must be leaf miners! Larvae hatched from eggs inserted into the leaves, safe from predators but not bicycle cat ladies with pointy pruners and alot of angst /:) They could be baby flies, wasps or moths. I don't know what species this is and I'm not going to waste all morning looking. The only decent solutions I found were to use a certain organic pesticide (which needs to be reapplied twice in the growing season and not when there's a chance of bees hanging around-no) or companion planting my columbines nearby so they will attract leaf miner parent bugs away from my food crops.

...I think I love my columbines a little to much to do that to them...

I'm just going to keep a very close eye out for any more of them in that seedling area because they decimated the one quinoa in a day and got several more leaves on the other ones. I think they will recover since they didn't lose all of their leaves and they seem to be pretty tough little guys.

And thanks Em for finding amusement in my severe annoyance at these bad bugs.

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