Boxwood Leafminer – A Major Pest Of Boxwood Shrubs

Have you seen small orange flies swarming around your boxwood shrubs? Spring is Boxwood Leafminer mating season!

Perfectly timed, just as the healthy new flush of spring growth leafs out on your boxwood shrubs, small orange flies may be visible fluttering around your boxwoods. This is the mating season for adult Boxwood Leafminers.

The pest is a very small (one-eighth of an inch long) yellowish-orange mosquito-like fly whose larvae spend winter inside the infested leaf, emerging as adults in early spring.

They developed throughout last season and over-wintered inside boxwood leaves, mining and munching their way from eggs to larva to adults to do it all over again this season….to the detriment of the health of your prized, deer-proof, evergreen shrubs…..

Just when you thought you had planted the perfect shrubs for your landscape!

Contact Us Now if you’ve seen signs of infestation!

Left untreated, Boxwood Leafminers will reach damaging levels leading to the eventual decline and death of your shrubs.

We advise most of our clients not to plant boxwoods in the first place.

Decades ago, nobody had boxwoods, but nowadays with the voracious deer population in our region, everyone plants boxwoods…..and more boxwoods… because deer leave them alone. But in reality, they are not easy plants to keep healthy.

Our Plant Health Care diagnostician monitoring for pest pressure & levels.

Our Plant Health Care diagnostician monitoring for pest pressure & levels.

Boxwoods may be deer-proof, but they get bugs, they get diseases, and culturally, they’re often planted in the wrong growing conditions. They are sensitive and susceptible to decline, canker, phytophthora, volutella blight, mites, Leafminer, over-mulching, improper pH, improper irrigation, and winter burn….. but no deer browsing!

Don’t be discouraged — there is hope.

Boxwoods are attractive, but just don’t think they’re going to be easy and maintenance-free. With proper nutrition, pruning, growing conditions, and Integrated Pest & Disease Management practices, boxwoods are a nice component in your landscape. We’d be happy to talk to you about other shrub choices as well.

For more about Boxwood pest and disease management, visit:

Bill Grundmann

Bill is the owner of Organic Plant Care, LLC. He takes an integrated approach to tree care, focusing not only on the trees themselves but also on the surrounding environment, managing tree health from the "ground up" - healthy soil equals healthy plants. Bill is a New Jersey Licensed Tree Expert and NJ Approved Forester with over 35 years of experience in the tree care industry.