The Online Gardener's Handbook 2010
Chapter 4: Vegetables
Beet, Swiss Chard, Spinach

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Leafminers
  3. Learn More


In this chapter, a description of various leafy vegetable pests will be provided along with suggested management options. These management options will not include the use of pesticides. Some biopesticides and certain reduced risk pesticides are still available to the homeowner for controlling weeds and pests in lawns and gardens. For more information, refer to Chapter 2 of this handbook and the Ministry of the Environment's website. For suggestions on managing specific weeds and pests, consult local horticulturalists, Master Gardeners or your local garden supply centre.


Several species of Leafminers damage leafy vegetables in Ontario. Look for the presence of twisted tunnels or mines inside the leaves. For more information, see the Leafminer section of Chapter 1.

The pea leafminer has been found in the Holland Marsh area of Ontario. The adult causes severe stipling (bronzing) damage to leaves of spinach and Swiss chard. Mining of the leaves by pea leafminer larvae is not as common. For more information on the pea leafminer, see lettuce and celery.

Management Options

Damage may not be an issue if only roots and stems are eaten. Leafminer feeding may be more problematic on spinach and Swiss chard. Grow New Zealand-type spinach, which is not attacked. Destroy damaged leaves; do not compost. Scrape off eggs, which are laid by some species on the undersides of leaves.

Learn More


For more information:
Toll Free: 1-877-424-1300
Author: OMAFRA Staff
Creation Date: 21 July 2005
Last Reviewed: 25 June 2010