Worldwide distribution. On many plants in the cabbage, carrot, cucumber, daisy, legume and potato families, including crops, ornamentals and weeds. An important pest.
A fly, less than 2 mm long, laying eggs in the leaf surface, with maggots that tunnel (or “mine”) between the upper and lower surfaces. Adults black and yellow, feeding on plant sap (females puncture leaves when laying eggs), and nectar. Leaves die early reducing yield, seedlings wilt and die, and poor-quality produce affects price, especially ornamentals.
Cultural control: weed; check plants in the nursery; plough to expose pupae in soil; avoid planting susceptible crops on same land and immediately after harvest of infested crops; handpick leaves with mines; keep plants well-watered.
Chemical control: Avoid broad spectrum insecticides, such as synthetic pyrethroids, carbamates and organophosphates. Use neem, abamectin, or cyromazine - an insect growth regulator.