Updated: October 23, 2022

If you’ve noticed tiny bugs crawling on the leaves of your coffee plant, don’t panic. These little creatures are common in coffee plants and are called coffee leaf miners. They are small, black or yellowish-brown insects that tunnel through the leaves and feed on the sap.

Coffee leaf miners can be a nuisance for coffee growers as they can cause significant damage to the plant if left untreated. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at these bugs and what you can do to get rid of them.

What Are Coffee Leaf Miners?

Coffee leaf miners are tiny insects that belong to the family of beetles known as Curculionidae. These bugs are native to Africa but have spread throughout the world with the cultivation of coffee.

The adult coffee leaf miner is a small, black or yellowish-brown beetle that measures only a few millimeters long. The females lay their eggs on the underside of coffee plant leaves, and when the eggs hatch, the larvae burrow into the leaf tissue and begin feeding on the sap.

How Do Coffee Leaf Miners Affect Coffee Plants?

Coffee leaf miners can cause significant damage to coffee plants. When the larvae feed on the sap, it causes the leaves to become deformed, discolored, and can cause premature leaf drop. This can lead to stunted growth and reduced crop yields.

In addition to damaging the leaves, coffee leaf miners can also create entry points for fungal infections that can further damage the plant.

How Can You Get Rid of Coffee Leaf Miners?

There are several ways to control coffee leaf miners:

1. Biological Control

One of the most effective ways to control coffee leaf miners is through biological control. This method involves using natural predators or parasites to control insect populations.

Some natural predators of coffee leaf miners include birds, spiders, and predatory insects like ladybugs and lacewings. Parasitic wasps are also effective at controlling the population of coffee leaf miners.

2. Chemical Control

If biological control is not an option, chemical control can be used. There are several insecticides available that can effectively control coffee leaf miners.

However, it’s important to note that insecticides can have negative impacts on the environment and should be used as a last resort.

3. Cultural Control

Cultural control involves changing the environment of the coffee plant to make it less hospitable to coffee leaf miners. This can include:

  • Removing and destroying infected leaves
  • Pruning the plant to improve air circulation
  • Planting coffee plants in areas with natural predators
  • Using shade-grown coffee, which has been shown to reduce the population of coffee leaf miners


Are coffee leaf miners harmful to humans?

No, coffee leaf miners are not harmful to humans. They only feed on the sap of coffee plants and do not bite or sting.

Can coffee leaf miners be prevented?

There are several ways to prevent a coffee leaf miner infestation, including maintaining good plant health, planting shade-grown coffee, and using biological control methods.

How long do coffee leaf miners live?

The adult coffee leaf miner only lives for a few weeks, but the larvae can live for up to two months.

Can I still drink coffee from a plant with coffee leaf miners?

Yes, you can still drink coffee from a plant with coffee leaf miners. The bugs do not affect the quality or safety of the coffee beans.

In conclusion, if you’ve noticed little bugs on your coffee plant, they are most likely coffee leaf miners. While they can cause significant damage to your plant if left untreated, there are several ways to control their population without resorting to harmful chemicals. With proper care and attention, you can keep your coffee plant healthy and thriving.