image of barnstable county courthouse

Pest Alert: Box Tree Moth Confirmed for the First Time in Massachusetts

The box tree moth (Cydalima perspectalis) is a non-native insect that originated in the temperate and subtropical regions of Asia. It was found to be invasive in Europe in 2007 and has since spread to western Asia, northern Africa, and Canada (2018). In the US, it has been detected previously in New York (2021), Michigan (2022), and Ohio (2023).

The box tree moth has been detected for the first time in Massachusetts in communities on Cape Cod (Barnstable County) as of 2023. Thus far, the established populations of box tree moth in MA are in landscape plantings that are two or more years of age. It is currently unclear how widespread box tree moth is on Cape Cod, or how the infestation was introduced. The MA Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR) and the USDA  Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA-APHIS) are currently working to delimit the infestation found on the Cape.

UMass Fact Sheet:

Pest Alert:

To report sightings:

Damage caused by box tree moth caterpillar feeding on plants in Barnstable County, MA in 2023. Photo: Russ Norton, Cape Cod Cooperative Extension