The species Phyllonorycter mispilella commenly known as Tentiform Leafminer, can be found growing apple, cherry and pear production regions of Canada. The Tentiform Leafminer can spread easily as it produces three overlapping larval generations per year, enhancing this species’ ability to survive and cause damage to the leaves of fruit trees. This damage decreases the tree’s ability to photosynthesize, meaning lower fruit production and quality; especially when very high or severe infestations occur.
The adult Leafminers are small moths, with golden bronze-coloured wings which have white streaks outlined with black. They are active during the day. The young larvae (sap feeders) are white with a flattened body and with a wedge-shaped brown head. The older larvae are yellow with a typical caterpillar shaped body. The pupae are light to dark brown in colour and are often found protruding from the tentiform mine from which adult moths will emerge.
When scouting for the P. mispilella, inspect the underside of leaves for sap-feeder larval blotch mines and the upper surfaces of leaves for tissue-feeder larval tent-shaped mines. Examine the tent-shaped mines for Leafminer active larvae, parasitized larvae and pupae to gain an objective understanding of the true infestation present. This will help make accurate pest control decisions.