BOX TREE CATERPILLAR - HOW TO IDENTIFY AND TREAT (2022)
Buxus, otherwise known as Box suffer from the box tree caterpillar in Europe including the UK. The caterpillars feed on your box hedging/plant and can cause great damage to the box tree if not identified and treated promptly.
WHAT IS BOX TREE CATERPILLAR?
All over the world, you can find the box/Buxus plants in many topiaries or hedge forms. As a great evergreen to any garden that comes in many shapes and sizes. Creating character within outdoor garden areas etc.
Caterpillars, eventually become moths which continue a cycle of producing eggs continuously onto the Buxus/box leaves. This can happen many times within the growing seasons (usually April – September/October). The overall damage comes down to the caterpillars themselves eating the leaves.
WHAT DAMAGE CAN CATERPILLAR INFESTATION CAUSE TO BOX TREES?
Depending on how long the problem has been going on, the time the caterpillars can eat the leaves can be devastating if left too long without treatment. Also known as a moth infestation, it is a fast process that begins with leaves being bitten and then just brown stems left on the plant.
The box tree moths lay many eggs (larvae) once settled on a box tree plant. They then become the caterpillars which spread and move quickly through the plants eating as much as possible.
Due to the time left and a high number of caterpillars, losing the plant or hedge could happen within weeks with no treatment. The best thing that can happen, is for it to be spotted and treated as soon as possible.
The box tree or buxus plant is popular for its evergreen factor (green foliage all year round). This makes it a popular choice worldwide. It would be pretty obvious and apparent when your box tree is infested with caterpillar or box blight.
See below for some examples.
Loss of colour and brown leaves
White Webbing Signs
White webbing around the stems or leaves of your Buxus hedge or box tree are signs caterpillars are around. They produce this web for protection.