Cornell Cooperative Extension associations in the north country are asking growers to report any findings of leek moth, a pest that prefers onions, garlic, chives, shallots and leeks, so they can identify its range.
The leek moth adult is nocturnal and rarely seen unless trapped.
The pest was first detected in Northern New York in 2009 in Plattsburgh. It was found near Canton in 2010. Other sites in St. Lawrence County were added in 2011. Commercial growers in Essex and Jefferson counties reported finding the moths in 2012.
The adult moth is speckled brown, black and white with a white spot midway down its outer pair of wings.
The damage caused by the moth stunts plant growth, encourages rot and shortens storage life.