Cornell seeks help in finding leek moths

09/02/2013 06:17:00 PM
Vicky Boyd

$imgObj.altTextCornell University and its Cooperative Extension want New York growers of onions, garlic, leeks and other allium crops to be on the lookout for the leek moth.

Should growers find the pest, they should report it to their local Cooperative Extension office.

Researchers are working with a Northern New York Agricultural Development Program to trap the pest and determine its range, according to a news release.

Should the pest become established in major onion-producing areas of New York, it could cause significant damage to the $54 million industry.

Currently, the leek moth has been found in Clinton, Essex, Jefferson and St. Lawrence counties, New York, and Grand Isle County, Vermont.

The pest is nocturnal and is rarely seen unless trapped.

The moth was first detected in the United States in northern New York in 2009 in garlic and onions in a home garden in Plattsburgh, N.Y.

Eradication is not feasible, so researchers are looking to biological control as well as organic and conventional insecticides.

Currently, two organic products and three conventional insecticides are registered for use on the pest.

Cultural practices also can help manage the pest, including using row covers immediately after planting, crop rotation, delayed plant, field hygiene, scouting and early harvest.

A native of Europe, the pest was first discovered in North America in Ontario, Canada, in 1993.

Download this informational flier from Cornell for more information on the leek moth.

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