Box tree moths will be on the move soon. They are active between May and October and can have up to three life cycles in a year, usually lasting six to eight weeks.
Breeding can sometimes occur earlier if the weather warms up. So I usually put my box tree moth pheromone traps out by the end of March. The traps act an early warning system revealing when the male box tree moths are moving around and a new life cycle is about to begin. It’s a good time to spray box hedging and topiary with a biological insecticide when the traps start filling up with the male box tree moths.
Biological insecticides such as XenTari or DiPel contain the Bacillus thuringiensis bacterium, which gets into the gut of the caterpillars when they start eating the treated box leaves and kills them within a couple of days. The benefit of using a biological insecticide is that only targets the caterpillars eating the leaves and not important pollinating insects such as bees.
DiPel and Xentari are not registered for domestic use in the UK but they are available for use by professionals.
Box tree moth pheromone traps are not 100% effective at catching all the male moths in an area and should be used in conjunction with spraying. But with more people using the traps, the chances of reducing the box tree moth population are increased.
Dragonfli have given me a discount voucher for their box tree moth pheromone traps and refills. Use the code TODMAN10 at the checkout for a 10% discount to be applied. Keep the trap out from March to late October and remember to change the pheromone lure every five weeks.
Hopefully with more garden owners now aware of the box tree moth and taking action, we can reduce the devastating impact the box tree caterpillar is having on our box topiary and hedging.
Buy your discounted box tree pheromone trap here – https://www.dragonfli.co.uk/collections/box-tree-moth/products/box-tree-caterpillar-moth-pheromone-trap