How can I prevent caterpillars eating my leeks?
Posted by Dobies Staff on 12 September 2014 02:51 pm

The leek moth is usually found on leeks but may also attack onions with attacks being most severe in warm dry summers. There are two generations of caterpillars which are active between May and June and again from August to October. Leek Moth Traps can be put in place during these months to trap the male moths. The caterpillars start eating down into the plant where they feed for about a month before making their way back to the upper leaves where they pupate. in a white cocoon.

There are no chemicals available to control this pest instead the white cocoon should be removed as soon as they are seen. Construct a frame and cover the crop with fleece such as Envirofleece or fine netting such as Enviromesh. It is important to bury or secure the edges of the netting to prevent the adult moths getting underneath to lay their eggs on the plants.

Badly infested plants should be removed and burnt. Remove all plant debris at the end of the season to reduce the available sites for over wintering adults.

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