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Acrolepiopsis assectella damage on Allium porrum

Acrolepiopsis assectella damage on Allium porrum

© Rasbak

Type: Pests


Leek moth (Acrolepiopsis assectella)

This innocent looking brown (c. 10mm long) moth has been spreading West and North in recent years and laying eggs on the allium family of crops. The light/yellow-green caterpilars grow to 10mm or so while tunneling through the leaves, and sometimes into the 'bulb'. There are two generations a year with attacks in late spring and late summer. If the damage caused doesn't allow other infections in, leeks often recover, producing an edible, if reduced, crop, but onions tend to die.

Symptoms

  • Light yellow/brown patches on leaves
  • Yellowing/twisted leaves

Prevention & control

  • Prevent egg-laying adults from getting to the crop with insect mesh
  • Good crop hygiene, giving the pupae nowhere to overwinter
  • Light/early detected attacks may be controlled by removing affected leaves and burning
  • More heavily affected plants are best removed and burnt
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