Leek moths found in Essex County

— A new invasive species may have found its way to Essex County.

Anita Deming of Cornell Cooperative Extension in Westport reported to members of the Economic Development, Planning and Publicity Committee June 11 that they had found the first reported case of leek moths in Essex County.

Deming said that the case was reported at one farm in the northern end of the county.

“They have been coming down from Canada and have been in Clinton County,” Deming said. “This is the first reported case of them being in the county.”

Leek moths are an invasive species which live off of plants like onions, garlic, leeks and chives.

“The larvae feed off of those plants,“ Deming said. “They are all plants that our local farmers like to grow and sell.”

Deming said that the problem lies in treatment.

“You have to spray, and a lot of our farmers pride themselves as purely organic farms,” she said. “It is a big impact.”

Deming added that along with chemical control, another way to stop the spread of leek moths is by not sharing bulbs.

“They will live in the bulbs and plants over the winter, so sharing them will lead to spreading,” Deming said.

a leek moth.

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