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Vegetable leafminer

Vegetable leafminer

Factsheet by AUSVEG, 2022

The vegetable leafminer (VLM) is one of Australia’s most unwanted pests.

It affects the majority of vegetable crops and can spread rapidly through movement of infested material, by flying, and by wind.

Help protect your garden, your home, the environment and our industries by keeping an eye out for the vegetable leafminer!

Where is it found?

The pest is found in North America, Central America, South America, Africa, and Asia, and in 2008, it
started moving down the Torres Strait Islands. In 2015, it was found in Seisia on Cape York Peninsula,
the most northerly part of Queensland. There is a high risk that VLM will spread south to other parts of Australia, including our gardens.

What damage does it cause?

The spiraling mines created by the vegetable leafminer become wider over time and reduce
photosynthesis. This limits plant growth and may lead to plant death. Plants affected by VLM often
can’t be sold!

Vegetable leafminer location

The vegetable leafminer is currently found in the most northerly part of Queensland, on the Cape York Peninsula.

Vegetable leafminer damage

Silvery, spiralling tracks or ‘mines’ on the leaf surface.

Visit the AUSVEG YouTube for video on the vegetable leafminer:

FUN FACT: Maggots tunnel inside the leaf and make visible tracks (called leaf mines) that get wider as
they grow. It is often easier to identify a leafminer by the mines than it is by the fly itself.

If you suspect VLM in your garden, report it to the Exotic Plant Pest Hotline on 1800 084 881.

For more information on the Urban Biosecurity Program, contact Zali Mahony at AUSVEG on 03 9882 0277.


Factsheet produced by AUSVEGPlant Health Australia and provided to Community Gardens Australia

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