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Bay laurel

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From: Jack Jones
Chicago, IL
I have a mature bay tree. It spent the summer outdoors and is now moved into the house. I notice tiny areas in the leaves that are discoloured and some areas with perforations. Not scale infestation. Looks like a leaf miner. Is this possible? Any ideas and should I treat this? The leaves are not wilted and there is a bit of new growth.

Extension Message
From: Richard Hentschel
Extension Educator, Horticulture
DuPage/Kane/Kendall Unit
Hello Jack: Those spots that are perforated are most likely feeding sites of an outdoor insect and did occur while the bay tree was outside. Nothing you can or should do. It is possible that you had leaf miners, very small flat larvae living between the upper and lower layers of your leaves. If so, you should see dark spots (fecal matter) within the leaf surfaces and a exit hole where the adult (tiny flying insect usually) left. If no evidence of a larvae still present, nothing to do. If there is, pick off those leaves and throw them away.

Closely examine your Bay Tree often over the next few weeks. Once inside with warmer temperatures, there can be an array of insects that would normally be dormant outside come to life. Spider mites, scales, mealy bugs in the soil in the pot are examples.

Sincerely, Richard Hentschel

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