Today I went outside to look at my post-winter landscape and plan for the summer outdoor projects in my yard. As I rounded the corner of my house, I heard this loud crackling noise that reminded me of Kellogg’s Rice Krispies®. It was a constant noise that was coming from my large row of Boxwood bushes. I hesitated to come near, but the noise was not from insects swarming on the outside of the bush. There were actually thousands of larvae heartily munching on the leaves from the inside out.
After a quick Google search, I found out that the culprit was the Boxwood Leafminer, Monarthropalpusi flavus. I guess I will have to continue to monitor the situation to see if they are destroying the bush or just having a short term feast which won’t permanently harm the bush. I broke open a few leaves in order to confirm. The photos are below.
I recorded the crackling sound in the video below. The quality of the video is poor unfortunately. There was a fan nearby, producing a humming noise in the background.
UPDATE: Fast forward 2 years and 2 months and I am outside, trimming my boxwood bush for the first time this spring (2019). I was swarmed by tiny flies, identified as adult leaf miners. I was able to take a photo of them (below).
Ew, Josh! That just cannot be good!!!! Those things are disturbingly huge. Thanks for the observation, and the warning! I am now going to enshroud my precious boxwood in plastic after I scour it with bleach (yes, I know that will kill it… but I love my boxwood). Let me know if you hear of a protective remedy. Herbal tea? Vitamin C?
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