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Boxwood Leafminer Diagnostic Guide

Monarthropalpus flavus

Boxwood leafminer, Monarthropalpusi flavus (Schank) is native to Europe and widely distributed throughout the United States. Its introduction dates back to the same time period that common boxwood was introduced into this country. The leafminer causes serious damage to boxwoods, with heavily damaged plants becoming unattractive in appearance.

Shrubs at Risk

All boxwoods are susceptible, but more slowly growing English varieties are less susceptible than American varieties. Commonly infested plants include littleleaf boxwood and common boxwood.

Boxwood

Signs of Damage

  • Boxwoods infested with this leafminer develop blisters on the lower leaf surface.
  • Infested leaves are usually smaller, off-color and drop sooner than healthy leaves.
  • Heavily infested boxwoods usually have sparse foliage and poor color.
Boxwood Leafminer Signs

Brian Kunkel, University of Delaware, Bugwood.org

Boxwood Leafminer Signs

John A. Weidhass, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Bugwood.org

Biology

  • The partly grown larvae overwinter within their mines in the leaves of the host plant.
  • The larvae grow rapidly as the weather begins to warm. In late April, they turn into orange-colored pupae and emerge as a fly.
  • After mating, the female inserts her eggs deep into the leaf tissue. She dies soon after and the eggs hatch approximately 3 weeks later.
  • One generation per year.

Treatment Strategy

Since boxwood leafminer is an early spring insect, soil applications must be done late in the previous growing season, or very early in the current growing season, to obtain acceptable control. Xytect™ and Transtect™ are effective soil applied or foliar spray solutions.

  • Soil Application using Xytect 2F

    Dosage: 3-6mL/foot of shrub height or 3-6 mL/DBH”
    Timing: Late summer or fall for next year control or apply early in the spring for current year control.
    Re-Treatment: Annual
    Xytect 2F
    Xytect 2F
    $69.60
  • Foliar Spray using Xytect 2F

    Dosage: 1.5oz/100 gal of water
    Timing: Late summer or fall for next year control or apply early in the spring for current year control.
    Re-Treatment: Annual
    Xytect 2F
    Xytect 2F
    $69.60
  • Soil Application using Transtect

    Dosage: 1 packet/10-15 ft of shrub height or 1 packet per 10-15“ DBH
    Timing: Early spring, after leaves have fully expanded
    Re-Treatment: Annual
    Transtect
    Transtect
    $326.00
  • Foliar Spray using Transtect

    Dosage: 2 WSP/100 gal of water
    Timing: Early spring, after leaves have fully expanded
    Re-Treatment: Annual
    Transtect
    Transtect
    $326.00
  • Soil Application using Xytect 75WSP 22 packets

    Dosage: 1 packet/24-48 ft of shrub height/ inches DBH
    Timing: Apply in fall or early spring
    Xytect 75WSP 22 packets
    Xytect 75WSP 22 packets
    $148.00
  • Foliar Spray using Orthene TT&O WSP

    Dosage: 1/3 lb./100 gallons water
    Timing: Apply in april or may as new growth appears
    Orthene TT&O WSP
    Orthene TT&O WSP
    $15.20

Treatment Expectations

Soil applications are extremely effective against this pest. Xytect™ and Transtect™ can be applied as foliar sprays. Transtect™ will provide translaminar movement and good control if the optimal application window for soil applied products is missed. For small to medium size shrubs or hedges consider using lower dosage rates.

A Diagnostic Guide is designed to help you identify a pest issue and management solutions. Always refer to product label for all rates and approved uses. Some images courtesy forestryimages.org. Use of the images does not imply endorsement of treatments by forestryimages.org

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