box tree moth? These 3 Home Remedies Really Help!

Natural home remedies for box tree moth are a topic that keeps both home and professional gardeners busy. The box tree moth has now caused so much damage to box trees (Buxus) that many have banned it from their gardens and turned to alternative topiaries such as ‘Bloombux’, a variety of small-leaved rhododendron, or Japanese holly (Ilex crenata) .

Others, however, are unwilling to give up and are trying everything to save the popular evergreen and wonderfully pruned shrub. Read here which box tree moth home remedies gardeners have so far been successful in dealing with the pest.

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The garbage bag as a home remedy against the box tree moth

To combat the box tree moth on individual plants, a classic black or preferably dark, opaque garbage bag has proven itself as a household remedy. However, this home remedy only works in the summer when the temperatures are high. Place the trash bag over the infested plant in the morning and leave the lid in place for a day, but at least a few hours. The boxwood should be well watered beforehand so that it can withstand the heat generated under the black garbage bag without being damaged. The caterpillars of the box tree moth, on the other hand, die.

To avoid stressing the boxwood unnecessarily, monitor the temperature under the garbage bag (insert the temperature sensor in the middle of the plant). If the temperature has been above 45 degrees for at least an hour, you can remove the film again. The only drawback of this method is that you have to repeat the procedure more often, because the eggs of the box tree moth are surrounded by a protective cocoon, so this home remedy cannot harm them. A two-week application rate leads to success with individual plants.

The boxwood moth causes considerable damage: the moth larvae can destroy large stocks of boxwood. Here are some tips to prevent and fight it.

In April, the first generation of the box tree moth lays its eggs. Here we explain the three important steps to save heavily infested plants.

How to fight against the box tree moth with algae lime?

An effective home remedy for box tree moth is seaweed lime (Lithothamnium calcareum). It is certified in organic farming and also in organic farming. Algae lime promotes plant health in a natural way – and to the surprise and delight of many home gardeners, it has also been proven to control the box tree moth. Commercially, it is usually offered in the form of a fine powder with which the affected plants are generously sprinkled. However, the lime from the algae can also be applied as a prevention against the box tree moth.

The first experiences with the home remedy showed that after a while significantly fewer caterpillars appeared. It was also observed that no new caterpillars were born from the eggs laid on the seaweed-lime treated box trees. Incidentally, seaweed lime can also be used to get another boxwood problem under control: it helps against the dreaded boxwood (Cylindrocladium) dieback. If you use the home remedy in this case, you need to be patient and persistent, because the first successes often appear only after several years.

High-pressure cleaner: Good household remedy against boxwood moths

If the box tree moth has infested entire hedges, a pressure washer is an appropriate home remedy to eliminate the pests. If you don’t have your own device, you can often rent one from a local hardware or garden center. First, generously spread tarpaulins or plastic fleece under the boxwood and secure them in place. The easiest way to do this is to use a few heavy stones. Now run the pressure washer and vigorously spray the plants with it. Be sure to line up the spray so that most of the box tree moth caterpillars land on the tarp. And be careful: the pests are quite fast! So don’t wait until you have watered the whole row of hedges to pick them up, but pause every few meters so that the caterpillars can no longer escape.

The boxwood moth causes considerable damage and has already destroyed entire stands of boxwood. Fighting it is difficult, but not impossible.

Listen now and get practical advice on biological crop protection

Is it important to you to be as environmentally friendly as possible when it comes to pest control? In this episode of our podcast “Green City People – The Garden Podcast”, Nicole Edler talks to plant doctor René Wadas about how this can be done. Listen now!

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