Arborvitae Leafminer Description:

Arborvitae or cedar leafminers are larvae of small, silver, and tan moths. The larvae are small, brownish-black caterpillars that burrow into the leaves of plants. Moths emerge in late spring or early summer and deposit eggs on the leaves. The larvae then feed on the leaves through the fall and winter seasons into early spring.


This insect attacks cedar and arborvitae shrubs.

Biology & Symptoms:

The leafminer larvae tunnel inside the leaf tissues of the plant, causing them to turn brown and defoliate prematurely. Damage in the spring is easier to spot due to the appearance of untimely browning or dryness. Damage is generally more common on the lower and interior portions of the canopy. Larger trees and hedges typically lose their aesthetic value and their effectiveness as a screen, and cedars may become more susceptible to spider mites and gradually decline if not treated.

Arborvitae Leafminer Management:

Damage can be minimized with insecticide applications in the spring and fall. Mulching and watering cedars during dry seasons can be beneficial, as well as regular applications of slow-release fertilizers. Consult with your local arborist to learn the best methods for handling leafminers on your property.

See More Articles

Pest And Disease Chlorosis Banner 1440X500
Leaf or Needle Discoloration


Chlorosis is the result of a lack of chlorophyll production that may be caused by many conditions such as another disease, soil/water pH or nutritional imbalance, or tree wounds.
Read More
Pest And Disease Bacterial Leaf Scorch Banner 1440X500
Leaf or Needle Dropping

Bacterial Leaf Scorch

Bacterial leaf scorch, also known as Marginal leaf burn, is a chronic and systemic disease mostly affecting oaks and maples.
Read More
DSC 8019
DSC 8019

Get In Touch With Us!

We pride ourselves at Davey Tree on providing prompt, professional and personalized service from certified arborists that live, work and engage in your community. Contact one of our Davey Tree specialists for your residential needs.

Let's Find What
You're Looking For!