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Leek Moth

Acrolepiopsis assectella

Leek Moth

A close up of a Acrolepiopsis assectella leek moth larva
19.011 BF473 Leek Moth, Acrolepiopsis assectella, larva. (7000435603) by Patrick Clement (CC BY 2.0)
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As suggested by its name, this moth uses the Allium genera as its main food. This moth is considered an economically important pest in some parts of the world. They're most problematic in allotments and commercial farms.

Traits

Mine the leaves of Allium plants.

Appearance

Adults: These moths are fairly inconspicuous. They have a wingspan of 6mm, with brown-red-grey brindled patterning. Larvae: They're small white maggots with brown heads, which feed inside the leaves of the crop. They can sometimes be seen if the crop is opened up. Pupae: Larvae pupate outside the plant, appearing like meshed brown bumps on stems and leaves. If spotted, these should be picked off and disposed of.

Symptoms

White patches on leaves. Tunnels, or mines, in the stems of Allium. Plants infected by larvae may rot. Sometimes plants will die.

Activity

Crepuscular

Personality

Order

Lepidoptera

Family

Acrolepiidae

Metamorphosis

Complete

Distribution

Europe, Algeria and some parts of Asia and North America

Biological treatment

An insect-proof mesh as a means to protect crops is suggested. Regular inspection and picking off pupae will help control numbers of future generations.

Chemical treatment

Unfortunately, there are currently no chemical treatments available for home gardeners that will give effective control over this pest.

Attracts

Allium

Allium spp.

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