The box tree moth (Cydalima perspectalis) is an oligophagous species that mainly feeds on the leaves of box tree (Buxus spp.) species. Severe defoliation can lead to the death of the tree. Since it was first detected, it has caused severe damage in Europe. In the past few years, it has left a trail of destruction through forests, parks, tree nurseries and gardens in France, Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Austria and the United Kingdom.
Box tree caterpillars can develop in large numbers and in severe cases kill box tree plants. The caterpillars will defoliate plants and leave skeleton like leaves with webbing that can cover the entire tree. They can even bore into the bark of more mature box plants. Box tree caterpillars are green with distinctive black stripes and white dots.
Koppert has the biological answer in two easy steps:
It is important to detect the early signs of an attack in spring. The first step is to use box tree moth traps (Buxatrap) containing the specific sex pheromone Pherodis Cydalima perspectalis, to lure the male moth. Females are not attracted. Buxatrap can be used without water, making it a very convenient maintenance free trap throughout the season.
Laboratory and field studies and practical application have shown that Koppert’s entomopathogenic nematode product, Capsanem, (containing Steinernema carpocapsae) can effectively kill young box tree moth larvae (that is why early detection of the pest is crucial). It is recommended that the nematodes are applied when there is a high humidity level around the leaves. So evening sprays and good application techniques of these predatory nematodes are recommended. This aids the nematodes to keep alive long enough to search for their pray and effectively kill them.