Box Tree Caterpillars have rapidly become a serious pest of Box plants and Box hedges all across the UK. The Box Tree Caterpillars can develop in large numbers and in severe cases are capable of completely killing Box plants. The caterpillars will defoliate the plants and damage the leaves, leaving them in a skeletal state. The caterpillars may even bore into the bark of more mature Box plants if left untreated.
The Box Tree Moths will lay flat, pale yellow eggs that overlap each other in a flat sheet on the underside of the leaves on your Box plants. The larvae that hatch are of a greenish-yellow composition with black heads. As the larvae mature their green body develops dark brown stripes. Very mature larvae have thick black and thin white stripes down the body, with large black dots outlined in white. Look for clear webbing left on the plants which is created when the caterpillars achieve high numbers
1. Firstly, use our Box Tree Caterpillar Moth Traps:
The first step in protecting your plants is to set up one of our Box Tree Caterpillar Moth Traps. This will assist you in catching, monitoring and killing male Box Tree Moths. Once these are observed, it is likely that the Box tree Caterpillars will follow a few weeks later. By preempting their activity, and reducing moth numbers, you will have a greater chance of limiting an infestation. Moth mating and egg laying will also be reduced as a result.
2. Next, apply our Box Tree Caterpillar Killer Nematodes:
Nematodes can be used as an effective form of biological control against the caterpillars. The most successful species of nematode for Box Tree Caterpillar control is the Steinernema carpocapsae, which is contained within our Box Tree Caterpillar Killer Nematode pack. Apply these nematodes as soon as small caterpillars are observed.
3. Finally use our Soil Boost Granules to help your Box plants recover
Box plants can be aided in their recovery from Box Tree Moth attack with the application of our Soil Boost Granules. Soil Boost acts as an organic slow release fertiliser, helping the Box plants achieve newly invigorated growth after stress and damage.
Choose a humid or wet day to apply your Box Tree Caterpillar Killer Nematodes. Nematodes are UV-sensitive and will not survive long when exposed to bright, sunny conditions. Apply the nematodes early in the morning or early in the evening in order to utilise the optimum humidity levels.
There are several generations of Box tree Caterpillars in a season. They are active from April - October, so the nematodes should be applied during this period.
1. First open and empty the contents of your 25 million sachet of nematodes into a bucket or container of 2.5 litres of water and mix thoroughly.
2. Next, fill your sprayer (hand held sprayers should suffice, with filters removed - or our 8/15 Litre Pump Action Sprayers for optimum nematode application) with the mixed 2.5 litres of nematode concentrate and add another 5.5 litres of water so you are left with 8 litres of nematode solution.
3. Finally, spray the Box plants, from top to bottom, ensuring the middle of the plant is also sprayed. Apply plenty of the spray solution to the foliage and where possible directly onto the caterpillars themselves.
It is recommended that a second application is applied 7 days after your first application. This is to ensure the nematodes can get to the caterpillars not hit during the first application, and indeed any new small caterpillars that have since hatched from fresh egg laying.
Full instructions are applied on delivery.
Box Tree Moth Caterpillar contains two sachets of 25 million nematodes, each 25 million pack will treat up to 35m2.
At least 250-500ml of nematode solution should be applied per square metre.
You can store unopened nematode packs in a fridge but it is best to ensure you apply your nematodes as soon as possible for the best results.
Box Tree Killer nematodes are harmless to humans, and safe to apply to edible plants.