The Lilac Leaf Miner (Caloptilia Syringella)The lilac leaf miner is a small moth that arrives at your lilac bush and deposits its eggs
into the middle of the leaves. The eggs hatch and the larvae feed between the upper and lower surfaces of the leaves. The
damage looks initially as olive green patches that later turn into brown, blotchy areas. WSU recommends removing the infested
leaves as soon as noticed.
Lilac leaf miners also attack privet, ash and fringe trees. This is a widespread pest
in the region that continues to get more abundant and is now a serious problem.
moth has three flights to our lilac bushes per season. Flights arrive the first weeks of May, July, and September. Having
this accurate timing for a pest is very rare and makes it a lot easier to target effective control methods.
The control mission is to keep the adult moth from your lilac leaves. Once the eggs
are safely deposited within the leaf, the lilac leaf miner is free to eat, protected from virtually all control methods except
for leaf removal. Controls are abundant and with the proper timing already given to us the only thing we really have to do
is get out there and do something during the week that each flight arrives.
is a great way to protect your lilac if you have a lilac bush that is small enough to cover with agricultural fleece.
A UV bug zapper light set with a timer for PM hours and hung
near your lilac is very effective. The moths are quite attracted to the bright light.
Repellent type of
dusts or sprays should be applied at this time. Remember that contact sprays such as Pyrethrum, oils, or soaps do little good
unless sprayed at night when the moths are active. Obviously, that is a tough job. Stomach poisons are very ineffective because
the adult moth is there to deposit eggs, not feed on the leaf. Sticky traps can also be hung to predict the adult moth flight