You vs. Buxus moth

Fight the buxus moth!

The buxus moth is a night mot originating from Asia. Since 2006 he has been in Europe and since 2011 also in the Netherlands. Presumably the moth came along with imported boxwood plants and ended up in our country. One thing is certain: you do not want them in your garden. The moth, or rather the caterpillars, cause a lot of damage in almost every garden that contains their favorite plant.

Do you have a buxus? Check from early spring - in February and March - your plant and intervene before it is too late!

How do I recognize the buxus moth?

The butterflies appear in April and May. An adult butterfly is about 4 cm tall and has white wings with a dark brown edge. This moth lives on average eight days in which the female lays up to 800 eggs. You can find the eggs at the bottom of the boxwood leaves.

After six to seven stages the pupation takes place. The caterpillar has a different appearance in every phase. The young caterpillars are yellow and have brown stripes. Full-grown caterpillars are bright green with a black head and are 4 cm tall. In this phase they have black-brown dots and stripes. Over time, the caterpillar turns cream-colored brown. In addition to the striking color, the presence of the buxus caterpillar is also noticeable on the leaves.

What damage does the buxus moth cause?

People generally talk about the buxus moth that causes a lot of damage, but in reality it is the caterpillar. The first damage is usually hard to see. The traces of young caterpillars are small because they only scrape away the leaf compost at the bottom of the leaf. Soon they start to spin leaves to each other, making the damage more and more striking.

The greatest damage can be observed around July and August. In that period a hedge of several meters to tens of meters can be eaten by the caterpillars that are then present in large numbers. They only need two to three weeks for this. Damage manifests itself mainly in dead leaves, bare twigs, leaf skeletons and spictions. Your boxwood shrub is not dead yet, but at some point all leaves are gone.

The buxus moth propagates several times a year, so the period of infection lasts from mid-March to September. As soon as the temperature in the spring is higher than ten degrees, the caterpillars become active and start eating on the boxwood. The caterpillars are present throughout the whole growing season whereby the boxwood is unable to recover and eventually will die.

What can I do against the buxus moth?

Best is to interrupt the life cycle of the buxus moths by catching the male caterpillars with a Buxus Monitoring trap. This "buxatrap" has a strong attraction to the male box moths due to a natural pheromone. Once trapped, the fertilization of the females will decrease and with that the number of caterpillars in your garden.

Is the caterpillar already in the hedge? Then you can use a natural product such as Pyrethrum concentrate or Decis concentrate. This means that only those caterpillars that are hit will be killed. Repeating the treatment for every 7 days is absolutely necessary with this pest. In addition, it is very important to provide the boxwood with nutrition so it can strengthen and by doing this you also prevent buxus mold as an additional problem.