Leek moth attack on garlic and onions

Answered by Julian Posted in Category Netting & Protection

Dear Julian

Please can you help me with a query I have regarding a pest we have in our kitchen garden.
We harvested our garlic and onions in early june this year, only to find little brown cocoon type pest's over our crop and they seem to of burrowed in the stem please can you advise what these are, are they harmful to us? can we use the crop and brush them off first? are they harmful to us? will the garlic store as I have about 40 bulbs of garlic and dont want to throw them away.
Many thanks for any advice you can give.

Dear Claire

This could be Leek moth. The caterpillar stage can also attack garlic and onions. This is a new pest and difficult to control. I suggest you destroy and remove any of the pupae you see and infested plants. The only way to protect fully is by putting a fleece over the plants but it sounds a bit late for that. I suggest you do that next year to prevent the problem.

We are also testing a Leek moth trap, which should be ready for next season. For this year remove as many infested plants and bulbs as possible and destroy old crop at the end of the year. Do not leave old plants on the plot.

Hope this helps.