Sunday, April 24, 2016

Three Easy Methods to Kill Leaf Miners with Neem Oil and Soap

The most consistent pests we have in our garden are leaf miners, the larvae of moths that lay their eggs on the underside of leaves. Every few weeks, we treat the plants with neem oil in a couple different ways to eliminate leaf miners. You can choose the way that is most convenient to you. The first method is to put some castile soap shreds into a spray bottle and add neem oil to make a thick bi-layer. Then shake up the solution and spray. The neem spray method is also a good way to deter Tomato Horn Worms. The second method is to put one of our neem-olive oil soaps in a soap saver bag and gently wash the leaves with the soap saver.

The third way is to put a layer of neem oil in a jar with castile soap and water and us a paint brush to apply the solution. Stir up the neem well so that the soap disperses the neem bilayer into the solution. This is a good method for kids who want to help out in the garden, because it trains them to look carefully at the plants and conserves the neem solution. It takes a few days of regular treatment to eliminate the leaf miners. You know you can stop when the infested area turns brown and dries to a crisp. The plants below were treated by my kids with the paint brush method.

Leaf miner infested Tomato leaf before and after Neem- Soap treatment.

Leaf miner in Holy Basil leaf before treatment and after treatment.

Neem oil is one of the components of our Gardner's Gift Set. Be sure to check it out here.