The horse-chestnut leaf miner, Cameraria ohridella, is an invasive alien species defoliating horse-chestnut, a popular ornamental tree in Europe. This paper presents quantitative data on mortality factors affecting larvae and pupae of the leaf miner in Switzerland and Bulgaria, both in urban and forest environments. Two sampling methods were used and compared: a cohort method, consisting of the surveying of pre-selected mines throughout their development, and a grab sampling method, consisting of single sets of leaves collected and dissected at regular intervals. The total mortality per generation varied between 14 and 99%. Mortality was caused by a variety of factors, including parasitism, host feeding, predation by birds and arthropods, plant defence reaction, leaf senescence, intra-specific competition and inter-specific competition with a fungal disease. Significant interactions were found between mortality factors and sampling methods, countries, environments and generation. No mortality factor was dominant throughout the sites, generations and methods tested. Plant defence reactions constituted the main mortality factor for the first two larval stages, whereas predation by birds and arthropods and parasitism were more important in older larvae and pupae. Mortality caused by leaf senescence was often the dominant mortality factor in the last annual generation. The cohort method detected higher mortality rates than the grab sampling method. In particular, mortality by plant defence reaction and leaf senescence were better assessed using the cohort method, which is, therefore, recommended for life table studies on leaf miners.