Last year Karen in South West London sent us pictures of the damage done to her box hedging around her vegetable patch and also to some large box balls.
We wondered how things were going this year so we got back in touch and Karen sent the following update and pictures.
Attached are pics taken today, just about a year after my drastic cutting back. The new growth this summer is a magnificent green and there is very little sign of new damage (so far). I am spraying every two weeks or so with XenTari. However, there has been very little activity in the pheromone traps, but numbers of captures are increasing. I am wondering if the cost of the traps is worth it (2 traps replenished twice a year) or whether the XenTari on its own is good enough? What do you think? By the way, I have to gaffer tape the top pheromones onto the trap lids because the foxes are prone to knocking them off when chasing around!
The box has just been trimmed partly to encourage it to thicken up. The vegetable garden hedging is still unconnected (ie the plants are still separate and have not reformed into a hedge again yet). I probably planted them too far apart in the first place.
I was miffed to see the neighbours’ hedges, that I thought were dead, revived now with new growth. But they did look awful all winter and spring.
With regard to the pheromone traps and the cost of the lures – this is where you pat yourself on the back reminding yourself that you are helping both for your garden and those around you by disrupting the moths breeding cycle – well done for providing a public service to your area of South West London! We would encourage as many people as possible to trap as many male box moths as possible to cause as big a disruption as possible. A single long life lure is also an option as you don’t have to remember to change it. It will cost marginally less than two 3 month lures but significantly less than the old 4-6 week lures.
Foxes interfering with the traps can be caused by having water in them, it may be best to leave the traps dry – they work just as well, it just means the moths die of exhaustion rather than drowning, which makes it easier to count them and log them on our Box Moth & Caterpillar Tracker
Karen’s last point about her neighbours box, this just proves how resilient a plant it is 🙂