Box moth caterpillars - any advice from experience?

The dreaded box moth has arrived in our garden. I’ve read (or reread, having already read quite a bit about them before the moths arrived here) quite a lot about it, but I’d be very interested to know if anyone has thoughts or tips from their own dealings with the problem.

Having just seen a few tell-tale patches of damage and then eventually seeing a caterpillar or two, it’s now apparent that there’s rather more evidence hidden away that we hadn’t seen, but it doesn’t yet seem out of control. However, it appears it’s a problem that will need quite a lot of time and money to try to battle and I’m trying to decide how much energy I can find for the task!

My current plan for initial action is to get a moth trap, and pick off caterpillars (not easy to find) and cut off clearly infested branches, and then take stock in the spring when the caterpillars re-emerge. We also wonder if we should reduce the amount of box now, to make the area we have to deal with more manageable (we currently have about 80’ of 2-3’ high box hedging).

Any advice, and encouragement, would be welcome!

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I’ve heard gardeners have had success with pheromone moth traps and fertilising - SB Invigorator is apparently good.

Personally in my designs where hedging was needed we just ripped it out ages ago abs used something else. The problem is the treatment is forever more, and it doesn’t feel worth it to me.

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Thank you, that is very helpful. With neighbours we’ve ordered some traps to put across our adjoining gardens, if nothing else to at least make an effort to reduce the population locally.

Part of me has been thinking we should just start with something new now, rather than devote time and money only to end up getting rid of the box after all, so it’s good to know that that isn’t an overreaction. There are more satisfying gardening jobs to do than be constantly battling a pest! And I’m already having fun thinking of different plants to replace the box with in different places.

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If your neighbours are all pitching in too, I guess there is no harm in trying for a year or so. Unless the new plants become too exciting to wait for! :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

I think we’ll compromise - replace some now, where we know what we’d like to replace it with, and see how the rest does while we explore the alternatives a bit further. And I’ll keep telling myself it’s an opportunity in the meantime!

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Sounds like a good plan, I know some gardeners have put in a place a successful plan to protect their hedges.

That’s good to know! Thank you for all your thoughts.

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