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Pest Alert Box Tree Moth

Box tree moth (Cydalima perspectalis) is a non-native insect that originated in the temperate and subtropical regions of Asia. Box tree moth was found to be invasive in Europe and has since spread to western Asia, northern Africa, Canada and the United States.

Box tree moth was found to be established in Barnstable County in 2023. Box tree moth has the potential to be highly damaging to boxwood (Buxus spp.) and left unmanaged can defoliate boxwood. Boxwood is a common landscape plant present in many landscapes as a hedge or topiary.

Box tree moth should be scouted for and monitored in boxwood. Caterpillars have been found actively feeding already this season on boxwood. Look inside boxwood canopies for signs of webbing, greenish caterpillars and characteristic feeding which often leaves only the leaf edge and midrib behind.

Box tree moth is a federally regulated species. New infestations should be reported here;

Current map of towns where box tree moth has been found can be viewed here; MDAR Invasive Pest Dashboard

Additional resources including management and identification

UMass Box Tree Moth Fact Sheet

Box Tree Moth Pest Alert

Cornell IPM Box Tree Moth

Massachusetts Pests Outreach Project Box Tree Moth