Boxwood moth: signs of appearance and how to deal, prevention

Boxwood moth: signs of appearance and how to deal, prevention

Boxwood, or buxus, is an ornamental evergreen shrub or low tree, used since antiquity to decorate gardens and produce extremely strong and durable wood. He lives for a long time, but can be attacked by a dangerous pest - the boxwood moth (moth). This voracious insect is capable of destroying perennial, and even centuries-old, plantings and natural thickets of buxus.

What kind of pest is the boxwood moth

This is an invasive species that has appeared in Europe relatively recently, since 2006, when butterflies were noticed in Germany.Since then, it has spread to many countries and caused a lot of damage to boxwood plantings. The homeland of the insect is Southeast Asia (Japan, China, Taiwan, India, the Korean Peninsula) and the Far East.

Adult butterfly has triangular light wings with a dark brownish border. After the female lays eggs on the boxwood, caterpillars up to 40 millimeters long, yellowish-green in color, with two rows of convex black dots along the body and with wide gray, narrow white stripes along the back and sides, hatch. Also, white hairs are rarely scattered over the body of the caterpillar. She has a large black head. The pupa hibernates on boxwood. It is also colored yellowish green. For a season, a moth can produce, on average, three offspring.

The pest eats a dense leathery leaf of boxwood in just 4 hours, and does not disdain the bark of the plant. As a result of the spread of moth, all buxus plantations and relict forests can be completely destroyed.

Signs of appearance

One of the first signs of the presence of boxwood moth is the formation of a dense layer of whitish cobwebs. Her caterpillars envelop the damaged areas of the bush. Also noteworthy is the unpleasant odor emitted by processed leaves and branches, waste products of insects.

Until the foliage is eaten, pests hide behind it. A severely affected plant turns brown, becomes bare and dies in a short period of time. When a caterpillar destroys all available buksus, it can "spread" to a nearby maple, larch or ash tree.

How to get rid of a pest?

It is necessary to destroy the moth as soon as the first pests are discovered. Eggs and caterpillars are harvested by hand or cut off the damaged ends of the shoots. Collected branches, cocoons and pests are burned. When insects spread, chemical or biological treatments will have to be used.

You can also reduce the number of pests by regular pruning.

Chemical methods

You need to start fighting insects when even single individuals are found, because the butterfly lays hundreds of eggs.

You can protect boxwood from a pest with the help of preparations based on pyrethroids - Actellik, Bi-58, Fufanon, based on lambda-cyhalothrin and deltamethrin - Decis, Operkot, Enzhio , systemic action - "Aktara" or "Confidor Maxi".

When using chemicals to kill the boxwood moth, you need to take into account that the duration of the drugs reaches two weeks, and the breeding cycle of the butterfly is 40 days.Therefore, it is necessary to repeat the treatments several times with an interval of 10-14 days, while alternating various means - systemic and contact action.

Biological methods

The following biological agents act on the boxwood moth:

  • "Aktofit".
  • "Guapsin" helps against younger caterpillars.
  • "Lepidocide".
  • Bitoxibacillin.

When using various methods of killing moths, it is necessary to use adhesives to ensure that the active drugs get on as many leaves and shoots as possible.

Prevention measures

In order to avoid mass infection with boxwood moth, the following preventive measures should be taken:

  • Regular inspection of plantings with the rapid destruction of pests, while the butterflies have not had time to start active reproduction.
  • Attracting birds to the garden, willingly eating caterpillars and butterflies.
  • High agricultural technology. Constant care prevents the reproduction of insect pests. Adequate soil and frequent biological spraying help to reduce the number of pests that affect boxwood and other plants.
  • Regular pruning of buxus bushes.
  • Collecting caterpillars and butterflies by hand. This is effective with a slight spread of the pest, helps to prevent an increase in the number of boxwood moths.
  • Breeding ichneumons that can parasitize caterpillars of the boxwood moth.

Careful attention to boxwood plantings will help preserve both relic buxus forests and modern decorative plantings in gardens and parks.

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