Leek Moth Update – 4 June 2013

In 2013, pheromone traps were installed in early April in Brant, Oxford, Perth and Wellington Counties and Waterloo Region. Leek moth were captured at a Waterloo Region site beginning in late April (April 22nd – 29th), with trap captures continuing until mid-May (May 15th – 21st), for a total of 14 leek moth so far this season. Leek moth have not been captured at any other site so far this year. At a site in the National Capital Region (Ottawa), leek moth were caught in pheromone traps beginning the week of April 9th – 16th, with a flight peak (i.e. most pheromone trap captures in a given week) the week of April 16th – 23rd.

Figure 2. Leek moth larva feeding on leek leaf (this was taken in 2011)
Leek moth larva feeding on leek leaf (this was taken in 2011)

In 2011 and 2012, leek moth pheromone traps were installed in Allium growing areas across southwestern and central Ontario (some of the monitoring sites changed in 2012). In 2011, this pest was found in York Region, Simcoe County and Waterloo Region. In 2012, leek moth were captured in Waterloo Region and Brant County.

At a Waterloo Region site in 2012, from mid-April to the beginning of May, four leek moth from the first flight were caught and during the first week of July, two leek moth were caught (same site as 2011). One leek moth was captured in Brant County during the second week of July in 2012. Although these numbers are ‘low’ relative to other areas, it is important to learn more about this pest as it spreads.

For a detailed report on 2012 Leek Moth Survey in Ontario, see LeekMothFinalReport2012_General. Management strategies are also included in this report.

More on Leek Moth

The leek moth, Acrolepiopsis assectella, is an invasive species of European origin that attacks Allium spp., including garlic, onions and leeks. Since its detection in 1993 in the Ottawa Region, the leek moth has been a problem for commercial Allium growers and particularly to organic market garden producers in the region. Research by Peter Mason’s group from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada suggests that this pest will likely spread further south and west from regions where it is currently found.

Other Resources

Refer to Ontario CropIPM online at http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/IPM/english/onions/insects/leek-moth.html and OMAFRA factsheet—Leek Moth—A Pest of Allium Crops http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/crops/facts/08-009.htm for more information.

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