As a bulb, garlic has a strong odor and pungent flavor. Due to this, it stands to reason that most pests will avoid it. It is also a common companion plant for roses, peppers, and tomatoes in gardens because it helps keep pests away.
But if we find it tasty, why shouldn’t the bugs? Some pests are resistant to the sulfuric pungent of garlic. This article will discuss the top 5 pests that can cause damage to this fragrant Allium species.
Tiny yellow and black flies called Phytomyza gymnostoma, which feed on alliums, lay tiny, curled white eggs on the undersides of leaves.
White-yellow, 8-millimeter-long maggots emerge from the eggs and bore into the leaves, devouring the tissue. They keep developing into a reddish-orange pupa that’s only 3.5 mm long.
They can even eat their way into the bulbs themselves.
Holes and wavy white lines on the stalks and leaves are telltale signs of these terrible pests.
How to Control Leafminers
Floating row covers can keep adult flies away from your crops if leafminers are a problem in your area.
When you plant in the spring, put them in right away. You can also use them during fall plantings because leafminer flies frequently seek out host Alliums to overwinter in, and you don’t want them to choose your garlic crop.
Reduce the number of leafminers by keeping the ground around your plants mulched and free of weeds.
And if you see the telltale white streak on a leaf anywhere in your garden, don’t hesitate to pull it off and throw it away.
Repeated inspections will help you identify and kill any remaining larvae before they can cause further harm to your plants.
When temperatures are high, leafminers can complete their life cycle in as little as two weeks, at which point the adults will typically lay more eggs.
The female parasitic wasp (Diglyphus isaea) seeks out leafminer larvae, paralyzes them, and then lays eggs on them. The newly hatched wasp larvae eat the leafminer larvae.
The wasp larvae will mature into adult parasitic wasps in a matter of weeks, at which point they will feast on even more leafminers and eventually wipe them out.