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Host plants

Leek moth (LM) is a serious pest of members of the Allium family which includes onions, garlic, leeks, chives and shallots. There are about 600 cultivated and wild species of Allium in the United States as potential hosts.

Garlic. Photo: Amy Ivy, Cornell University.
Leeks. Photo: Amy Ivy, Cornell University.
Onions. Photo: Amy Ivy, Cornell University.
Shallots. Photo: Amy Ivy, Cornell University.

Distribution and history

Leek moth (LM) is native to Europe and is now found in Russia, Japan, Algeria and in Ontario and Quebec, Canada. It was first found in Ontario in 1993.

The first confirmed sighting of leek moth in the continental United States was in Plattsburgh, NY (Clinton County) during the summer of 2009. The following year it reappeared in the same sites as well as additional sites north of Plattsburgh.

It was confirmed for the first time in the Canton/Ogdensburg (St. Lawrence County) area of NY in 2010. There is speculation from growers there that it may have occurred in years prior, but was not confirmed.

In 2011 the same sites were infested again as well as a few new nearby sites.

Map of New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine, showing their counties. The following counties are highlighted: Jefferson, St. Lawrence, Franklin, Clinton, Essex, and Washington counties, New York; Grand Isle, Franklin, Orleans, Essex, Chittenden, Lamoille, Caledonia, Washington, Addison, Orange, Rutland, and Bennington counties Vermont; Coos and Grafton counties New Hampshire; and Franklin and Somerset counties, Maine.
Leek Moth Presence in North America as of April, 2021. Click to enlarge map.