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.
Our Box Tree Moth Traps catch and kill adult male Box Tree Moths by utilising a species specific pheromone lure. Adult male moths will be attracted to the scent and fly inside the trap through the holes on the side, drop down, and become trapped. Moth mating and egg laying will be reduced as a result, and future generations of caterpillars will be prevented from developing. Moth populations can also be monitored through this trap which will help provide you with an early warning as to their activity.
Each trap is supplied with two pheromone lures. Each lure is active for a minimum of 6 weeks.
Each trap is also supplied with a sticky pad to place in the bottom of the trap, this helps retain moths in the trap.
Each lure is supplied in a foil sachet. Remove the lure from the sachet and place it in the lure cage at the top of the trap.
Additional lures may be stored in a fridge or freezer.
Full instructions are provided on delivery.
There are lures available that are marketed to last all season but research has proven, however, that such lures are less effective in catching Box Tree Moths. Trials were carried by Dragonfli and the RHS at Hyde Hall Gardens which compared Box Tree pheromone lure types. The results found that the longer life lures caught far fewer moths than our standard lures.
We believe it is favourable to use our standard Box Tree Pheromone Lures and replace them every six weeks to achieve maximum catch rate of the male Box Tree Moths. It is also good practice to remove caught moths from the traps every six weeks.
Each trap covers an area of 180m2.
Providing the traps are placed more than 20 meters apart, more than one trap can be used in a smaller area.
No, this trap will only attract and kill the adult male moths.
Our traps are environmentally friendly and no threat to small birds.
The trap can be used for years and replacement lures can be purchased for additional coverage.
Each trap comes with two pheromone lures, each of which last up to 6 weeks, giving the trap an initial 12-week protection. Replacement lures can be purchased separately here.
If wishing to also replace your sticky pad, once it is full of moths, these can be purchased here.
There are several generations of Box tree Caterpillars in a season. They are active from April - October, so traps should be set during this period.