Box tree moth

The box tree moth is native to East Asia and has spread across Europe as an exotic from 2006.

recognize Box tree moth
Box tree moth, photo: Qflieber - CC BY-SA 3.0
recognize caterpillar Box tree moth
Box tree moth caterpillar, photo: Didier Descouens - CC BY-SA 4.0

Box tree moth (Cydalima perspectalis) belongs to the grass moth family (Crambidae) and is native to East Asia and has spread across Europe as an exotic from 2006.
Span of the box tree moth is four cm. A moth lives only for a short time (about eight days) and can lay + 500 eggs. The eggs are laid on the underside of the leaves. From the eggs emerge minute pale yellow caterpillars, which grow to four cm of bright green. The caterpillars overwinter in spins in common box. The caterpillars are active at temperatures above 10°C.
The caterpillars eat mesophyll and can eat a common box bare in a short time. A healthy common box will sprout again after a few months.
Among the natural enemies of the box tree moth are caterpillar-eating house sparrows, great tits and jackdaws. Chickens also know how to deal with the caterpillars.

Where to find

Control

In horticulture, the box tree moth is controlled by nematodes (Steinernema carpocapsae and Heterorhabditis), a biological agent.
In the vegetable and ornamental garden, remove any caterpillars by hand. Put them in a sealed bag in the waste container. Always remove spins.
A somewhat rougher method is spraying the boxwood with a high-pressure washer: the caterpillars fall from the bush to the ground, where they can be picked up.
During the summer, check the common box every other week for the presence of spins and caterpillars.
There is a pheromone trap box tree moth for sale with female pheromones that attract male moths.

Prevention

There is a pheromone trap box tree moth for sale with female pheromones that attract male moths, preventing the females from fertilizing. By using these pheromone traps every year, there are less and less box tree moths per generation, which ultimately prevents a plague.

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