Get an early warning
With your help we can give each other an early warning of when Box Moth & it’s caterpillars are active. Using the map below you will be able to see reports from people across the country. They will be updating information on the state of their traps and caterpillar activity in their box hedges & topiary.
Click on a marker to see more detail about the type of trap or the last activity report. Below the map is a list of the reports and you can use the ‘Filter by’ option to show just Traps, Moth or Caterpillar activity.
If you have a pheromone trap or have found caterpillar activity, why not contribute to the map – the more reports the better. Click on the button below and enter the description of your trap or the caterpillar activity, then add further markers to update what’s happening and how effective any remedial action is.
Note: All markers are reviewed before they appear on the map.
|2018-05-22||Waltham Abbey, London E4 7FN, UK|
Finally had to admit defeat to these caterpillars after three years.None of the treatments have worked and have had to dig up all twenty bushes and burn them.
|2018-05-25||E17 8AQ||This is the first year this pest has invaded my box topiary in Walthamstow, East London. One large plant totally decimated, all foliage gone, now bark in the process of being stripped. I have removed it. The other four plants I think I have caught in time and have been able to hand pick off the caterpillars and webbing. Our local borough council does not seem to be aware of the insect. I will be checking the remaining plants most days and removing any signs of life I find.|
|2018-05-25||Popes Lane, London W5 4ND, UK|
Caterpillars and webbing found on small box hedge. I've picked off around 15 caterpillars but spreading to other box in the garden. Looking for spray containing Cypermethrian.
|2018-05-25||Beech Road, Slough SL3 7DQ, UK||A lot of caterpillars on box plant have caused damage. Picking them off by hand but might be a losing battle. I suspect I may have to sacrifice the bush.|
|2018-05-25||London SE3, UK|
Many of these Box caterpillars on our box plants.
|2018-05-24||Lynch Hill Lane, Slough SL2 2PX, UK|
Caterpillars have killed my box hedge
|2018-05-23||CM1 7DR||One lot of Box at the bottom of the garden is affected but the others near the house are not at present. I'm guessing its just a matter of time. We've lived here nearly 6 years and this is the first time our box has been affected.|
My box trees (balls) look like locust have hit them overnight! Looks like spiders webs all over and all leaves eaten and catapillers all over.
Note from EBTS UK: Best thing to do is spray the box balls with a biological pesticide (see our page on Box Moth & Caterpillar for lots of info about the options) and put out a pheromone trap to reduce the number of male moths around to fertilise the females.
|2018-24-5||Empress Avenue, London E12 5HW, UK|
Bayer Garden Ultimate Fruit & Veg big killer applied twice, appears to be useless ☹️
Note from EBTS UK: XenTari does appear to work quicker and more reliably but it is only available via the internet as it isn't licenced for sale for domestic use in the UK yet.
Roof terrace - one box plant (only) with some evidence of Box Moth. Treated with XenTari.
Note from EBTS UK: Could you be more specific about the evidence of Box Moth - did you see the moth or eggs? Or was it evidence of the caterpillar i.e. cobwebs, frass (little green balls of excrement) and eaten leaves? Just add another marker with the details if you get the chance - thanks.
|2018-05-23||Firs Drive, Slough SL3 6QG, UK|
|2018-05-23||Catherine Street, St Albans AL3 5BP, UK|
Infestation of box hedging with catapillars
150 plus caterpillars on 20 box bushes, most stripped of leaves.
Caterpillars. Some of my boxes were decimated last year. Others that weren’t quite so bad I cut back very hard and they started to look healthy this spring. Now, suddenly, within a couple of days they look shocking
Definitely Box Moth. Devastating our topiary trees.
|2018-05-20||N1 4HG||Was warned by email from neighbours that box moths were in the area and on returning from holiday discovered parterre in front garden and 4 box balls in rear garden were all infested with caterpillars and covered in webbing. Only one ball (in sunniest location) very badly affected for now, others partially eaten. Not noticed caterpillars on the box before, but with hindsight there was potentially webbing present last year. Sprayed extensively with Provado this morning and Topbuxus XenTari and 2x Dragonfli pheromone traps on order in hope that it can be halted and the box recovered.|
Severe infestation - 2m long hedge, completely defoliated, with over 1000 caterpillars removed in 3 days. Plenty more still to get.
Note from EBTS UK: With such a severe infestation spraying will be the best way to bring this under control - options are listed on our Box Moth & Caterpillar page. As the moths are about to start their first flights of the year, it would also be a good idea to install a pheromone trap to catch as many males as possible and thus reduce the number of fertilised eggs that are laid.
|2018-05-21||The Lynch, Hoddesdon EN11 8EU, UK|
Decimated three box plants in containers in garden
Box moth caterpillar on box plants.
|2018-05-21||Essex Road, Romford RM7 8AX, UK|
Caterpillar & Moth
|2018-05-18||Fordhook Avenue, London W5 3LR, UK||Five box plants defoliated by caterpillars - more than twenty caught so far. Nearly all box in neighbouring streets shows evidence of infestation.|
|2018-05-20||Foxdell Way, Chalfont Saint Peter, Gerrards Cross SL9 0PL, UK|
Box Hedge caterpillar
|2018-05-20||Wychford Drive, Sawbridgeworth CM21 0HA, UK||One of three box bushes decimated by caterpillars. Adjacent one showing signs of infestation|
|2018-05-20||Camberwell Grove, London SE5 8RF, UK||Buxatrap pheromone trap installed|
|2018-05-20||Bordon GU35, UK|
At least 50 caterpillars hand picked so far from pots, but also spread to our front hedge where they are extensive.
Caterpillars found on tree and all leaves have been eaten or dried out. Cobwebs all over the tree.
|2018-05-20/||Welbeck Road, Carshalton SM5 1TA, UK|
Plant looks like sun damage but some leaves are ok
Over 100 caterpillars removed so far this year, and over 200 last summer. Using pheromone trap, and caterpillar TopBuxus XenTari to kill new caterpillars
Webbing, eaten leaves and caterpillars discovered on all box in garden including topiary balls, cubes and cones plus 5 low level sections of hedging. No box plant was untouched! Immediately hand picked around 100 caterpillars and then next day sprayed everything liberally with XenTari. I have just repeated the Xentari spray one week later and discovered just a few caterpillars and some dead ones also. I have set up 3 pheromone traps but no moths have been caught as yet. Fortunately the damage is not too severe and hope I caught it in time. Heartbreaking!
|2018-05-19||Ripley, Woking GU23 6EW, UK||Caterpillar infestation of 4 topiary box balls. Caterpillars, green with black markings and black heads,in webbing. Caterpillars picked off and spray applied. Speed of devastation was startling.|
Sprayed with xentari
|2018-05-19||Empire Avenue, London N18 1AY, UK||Lots of caterpillars have eaten small buxus in my garden. Try to removed them all. See what happens|
|2018-05-18||Barnet EN5 5PR, UK|
Just discovered caterpillars munching their way through our box hedge for the first time. Off to buy spray! Will handpick them off too.
3 traps installed
Front garden box hedge covered in webbing and going brown having been eaten by caterpillars.
Caterpillars found on box plant in front garden.
|2018-05-13||Westcombe Hill, London SE3 7DT, UK|
Infestation of caterpillars. Box hedging completely eaten.
|2018-05-18||Hoppers Road, London N21 3LA, UK|
Plagues of Caterpillar activity eating through all surrounding roads. Have pruned hard, fertilised and will spray Provado ? There are no leaves left, the caterpillars have eaten all of them. Hoping the box comes back.
Many caterpillars found on small box hedging. Picked some caterpillars off. Will use a spray.
|2018-05-17||TW15 1SX||My 6' box bush has had almost every leaf eaten. I've just killed approx. 80 caterpillars.|
|2018-05-10||Woodland Way, Tadworth KT20 6NW, UK|
Multiple instances of mature larvae
|2018-05-12||Cherry Tree Road, Beaconsfield HP9 1BA, UK|
Over three days at least 40 caterpillars removed from 7 box balls in pots. The most vigorous bush suffered worst attack. The one in the shade was untouched. I have one bad lung, is Provado spray safe for me and bees?
Note from EBTS UK: It is possible that the one in the shade is infected, but because it is in a cooler location the caterpillars haven't developed yet - this has been observed in a North facing shaded Islington garden - keep an eye on it just in case.
Sprays: You should always be very careful, reading fully the instruction before using them (I always wear a mask to reduce risks even if it doesn't mention it) . With regard you particular situation I'm afraid we are not qualified to give you guidance. Try calling the Bayer Advice line on 0845 345 4100
Bees - Provado Ultimate Bug Killer is dangerous to bees. Do not use where bees are actively foraging. It is also a risk to non-target insects and other arthropods. Alternative biological insecticides that are Bee friendly are available online such as those based on Bacillus Thuringiensis like XenTari & Dipel.
|2018-05-16||Gloucester Avenue, London NW1 7AU, UK|
All the lovely new growth on my two box balls in planters has been eaten, and today I found four of these dreaded caterpillars ( and noted some webbing).
|2018-05-16||Enfield EN1, UK|
Garden hedges overwhelmed with caterpillars. Picked off 100+ in a small part of the hedge and the damage seems to be rapidly spreading through the garden.
Note from EBTS UK: When you get a large infestation like this it is important to spray to kill the caterpillars before they start eating the bark on the plants (they do this when they run out of leaves to eat). If the bark is eaten then the plant are unlikely to survive, whereas if it is only the leave they will grow back.
Small box hedge surrounding veg patch infested with caterpillars picking them off but losing the battle.
Note from EBTS UK: Please don't give up, there are sprays that you can apply that are safe near vegetables and OK with Bees & other garden insects (but not caterpillars).
Numerous caterpillars found after warnings posted on “next door”. Will order XenTari now.
My 30-year-old box tree was infested with caterpillars and webs when I checked it today. At first I thought it might be box blight, but after spraying the tree with Provado Bug Clear Ultra I noticed several caterpillars were hanging from the branches. Three small box balls which were fine a few weeks ago were also infested and each had several caterpillars visible. This is the first year I have had a problem with the box trees.
Note from EBTS UK: Glad you have found the pests and are dealing with them, suggest you also purchase a pheromone trap to catch as many of the male moths when they start appearing in the next week or so.
Just found caterpillars on all our boxes. None there 1 week ago, but one totally devoured already. Going to garden centre to buy treatment immediately.
Caterpillars found on Dwarf box hedge. Picked off by hand, sprayed and pheromone traps put up. Neighbours alerted by note through door.
Note from EBTS UK: Thanks for spreading the word with your neighbours
Got the kids to pick off the big fat caterpillars, but too many causing obvious patches in the hedge so sprayed today and will add a trap ready for the moths.
Box hedges looked really good so far, but just spotted a couple of caterpillars, so removed and sprayed the hedges - still very happy with late spraying last year that has meant very few caterpillars to deal with so far compared to other hedges in the neighbourhood.
Pheromone traps are out in both front & back gardens, so far no moths but it is only a matter of time as the caterpillars are huge, slow and beginning to wrap themselves in webbing so they are about to change into moths.
After 4 caterpillars sighted, sprayed box hedge with Dipel.
About 50 caterpillars removed from 3 box balls and they clearly have spread across the front garden into the low hedges. Have cut down the three but hopefully spraying will save the rest.
Box destroyed. Hundreds of Caterpillars removed.
|2018-05-13||TW1 1NP||Fully grown caterpillar infestation discovered across all of our box hedges. Sprayed with Bayer Provado bug killer.|
Caterpillars attacked box in both front and back garden in July 2017. Sprayed with Provado Bug Clear Ultra and put up Buxatrap pheromone traps. Repeated spray in September. No caterpillars seen again but very many moths trapped. Moths living in yew topaiary and ivy on neighbour’s fence so housed regularly to disturb them. In autumn fed soil around box with EM Growbest to boost strength of plants, and in early April sprayed all box with Effective Micro organisms. Box very healthy with regrowth from damaged areas. In May 2018 sprayed with Provado and renewed pheremone lures - no moths or caterpillars seen so far on our own box but very high levels of caterpillar attack on box in all neighbouring streets. Will shortly spray with Topbuxus Health Mix and then will respray with Provado in early June and renew lures.
About 30 caterpillars found in 2 large box balls in an Islington garden.
Caterpillars turned box bush brown!
Infestation of caterpillars on box hedges
Lots of caterpillars emerging on box hedges. Haven’t counted them to know total. We have removed some plants as infestation is too great to manage and eradicate. Looking at replacing with an alternative.
Caterpillar moth activity and 3-4 caterpillars seen in oldish box plant in large pot; had noticed it earlier in the year end of last year but unsure until now what it was; have cut down the box plant to short stems and can't see any more caterpillars. Lots of green droppings. Might get rid of the rest of the plant later if more spotted.
Caterpillar and eggs decimating my box hedge.
|2018-03-13||London SW12, UK|
Have infestation of mature caterpillars found on three plants.
Box tree caterpillars seen in Winchmore Hill.
Heavy caterpillar infestation on box plant.
Box moth caterpillars
Severe caterpillar infestation. Currently picking them off by hand. 250 caught in last 7 days. Xen Tari and BUXAtrap on order.
Wondered why my box started going yellow. After reading posts on Nextdoor I looked for caterpillars and found them today. I only have a small bush in the front flower bed.
Caterpillars on our road, many gardens
Caterpillars eaten all my box trees and balls.
Message from EBTS UK: Don't give up, spray with XenTari & setup a pheromone trap (if you haven't already) and spray again if you spot any re-infection.
Major infestation in box balls and box border hedge. At least 50-60 in box balls and 150 in box hedge measuring 5 metres in length. I have removed as many as I can find by hand over last 7 days.
Message from EBTS UK: Recommend spraying to make sure you eradicate the rest biological pesticide such as XenTari is most effective + install pheromone trap(s) as appropriate for the size of your garden.
Nearly 40 caterpillars found on one topiary box and quickly disposed of! All evidence of larvae removed by hand; the plant will recover as infestation caught quickly. Daily monitoring to ensure no more outbreaks for spread to other box nearby.
Caterpillars in the boxwood plants in front garden on Pensford Avenue, Kew.
Caterpillars have destroyed two box hedges. Caterpillars seen with web covering the plant.
|2018-05-10||N7 8LS||Found evidence of some caterpillar damage and silk casings near base of my box hedging today, and one live caterpillar. Sprayed immediately with a garden insecticide. I know what to look out for now having had a very bad infestation a few years ago from which I am pleased to say all my plants recovered even though some looked very sick.|
Removed 76 caterpillars from single buxus hedge. Sprayed all hedges with garden centre insecticide. Parterre damaged and ball hedges stripped bare. Would describe as very bad infestation.
Two box hedges completed destroyed. Came back after the bank holiday to find the hedges under attack. Haven’t scraped yet but will do so ASAP.
Note from EBTS UK: Although the hedges may looked 'destroyed' they will almodt certainly grow back if you can get rid of the caterpillars by spraying and combing out the debris.
Numerous caterpillars seen today first time this year in my box parterre (also last year but kept under control by Provado bug clear).
Major caterpillar activity in our road - neighbours box hedge 1m x 3m destroyed last year and now going through our hedge - 200+ picked off last 2 days. Other significant activity in Chiswick area.
Note from EBTS UK: Hope you are going to spray soon to stop those caterpillars eating your hedge - it will be more effective than trying to pick them off by hand and if you use XenTari it won't harm bees and other insects in your garden (unless they are caterpillars).
Box hedge covered in webbing and many caterpillar.
Very tall and old box tree approx 5m/15' high decimated in a matter of days. Covered in caterpillars and about to treat with Xen Tari
|2018-05-09||W12 9SD||Treated two beautiful 100yr old box trees that were being eaten by caterpillars. The owner is going to buy XenTari to do follow up sprays and also purchase a pheromone trap.|
Hundreds of caterpillars tearing through 2 box bushes.
This is my mom’s house and the garden is side to side only separated by a brick wall but still all covered with shrubbery of many gardens of other houses. On first glance I could see dozens, but with further inspections there are seemingly hundreds all swarmed in the box plants. They are all surrounded by small strands of web/silk and are eating their hearts out and probably preparing for cocooning stage anytime soon. Some even seem to explore the common ivy and take a few bites out of that but are centered on the box plant, having ravaged most of the external leaves.
Note from EBTS UK: Please can you email us your address so we can confirm the correct location of the marker?
Second season of infestation but this year we are on top of it as we now know what to expect and look for. A lot of the neighberhood are suffering with many box plants already lost. We are now spraying with Xen Tari twice a month
Box hedge not looking too healthy, on closer inspection lots of caterpillars and webbing found. Looks like they have eaten the box hedge from the inside out and from the bottom up, still lots of new growth on the top of the hedge. Just researching how to deal with the problem.
Note from EBTS UK: Most effective way to deal with the caterpillars is by spraying with a Bacillus thuringiensis based biological insecticide (safe with bees and other garden beneficial insects) such as XenTari (available from Topbuxus via our shop). Good luck with sorting the problem out and we would suggest investing in a pheromone trap (or more depending on the size of your garden) as the moths will be appearing anytime now.
Several caterpillars located and destroyed. This is on top of an infestation last year. Have reinstalled the traps.
|2018-04-08||EN8 0TN||Found lots of caterpillars on my box plants which is my hedge in my front garden. Think it has already taken approx half a metre down to the bark so am doubtful that will recover but shall be investigating what it is I need to use to kills these off. So annoying.|
Caterpillars found on large box hedge. Removed by hand, but looks like lots of webbing so more to come.
Got hundreds of caterpillars on my box. Picked most off.
Note from EBTS UK: Suggest you use a spray like XenTari to kill the caterpillars off as it is almost impossible to get all of them by picking them off. You should also consider getting a pheromone trap as we are now at the point were the moths will start flying and laying eggs, so anything we can do to reduce the number of fertilised eggs that are laid the better (the traps catch the males so they can't fertilse the females).
|2018-05-07||SL1 2DE||At least 100 caterpillars on 6 box shrubs. Trying to remove by hand. Shrubs survived similar in 2017|
Box eaten leaves, small patches of white stuff where the eggs are. Green caterpillars found in box.
Box tree completely infected. The caterpillars have even spread to the facade of the garage and of the house. We treated it with spray. We also witnessed one other garden in the Wanstead-South Woodford area where the box tree had the same issue.
|2018-05-07||KT2 7SZ||Caterpiallars found in all pots containing box, and in front garden box hedge. Killed approx 10-20 per pot. Catapillars in early stage some still in cocoon. Spraying xen tari tonight formthe first time and have ordered special moth traps for the garden.|
Found caterpillars on hedges. Will get spray tomorrow and treat.
My two small box ball tubs heavily infested with these caterpillars. removed 25-30.
Many caterpillars observed on a box hedge in a private front garden
Several box affected. Noticed the sticky white mesh a few weeks back. Wondered why the birds were paying so much attention to these box plants only to realise they were having their breakfast, lunch and dinner from them. Spent a few hours picking them off today but there are way too many to keep up. Will spray tomorrow. Hopefully they will recover.
Note from EBTS UK: Would be very interested to hear what type of bird was eating the caterpillars as most don't like the taste. Good luck and in most cases box will recover well as long as the caterpillars haven't eaten the bark on the stems.
Whilst trying to dig out a dead box bush I noticed lots of caterpillars.
Caterpillars found in large box bush. Caterpillar removed and destroyed, bush sprayed with XenTari.
Box completely destroyed.
Note from EBTS UK: Even though your box might look totally eaten, as long as the caterpillars haven't eaten the bark on the stems it will recover.
A lot of caterpillars on box bush. Had infestation last year. I kill over 20 caterpillars a day but it seems never ending. I think I will destroy the box as it is too damaged after consistent attacks. I saw moths in 2017.
Note from EBTS UK: Picking off the caterpillars by hand is an arduous & not very effective control, as you have found. It is best to spray with XenTari and install a pheromone trap for the moths. It's always sad to lose box from your garden, so bear in mind that most plants will survive if you can control the caterpillars.
Significant caterpillar activity found all over small knee high box hedge in residential garden.
Caterpillars smothering box bush
one third of our 30 Buxus bushes infested, some severely and others just starting. Will have them professionally treated with Decis.
Dozens of caterpillars small and large on roughly one third of my 120 box plants. A stretch of 40cm stripped of new growth. Picked off about 50'caterpillars and sprayed the affected areas. Trap installed one month ago has not attracted any moth yet.
Box moth caterpillar has eaten two box plants on my balcony - I first noticed a sticky gauze like substance covering them a couple of weeks ago and wasnt sure what it was but today I saw a fat caterpillar munching its way through what remains of the plant
Caterpillars becoming active with webbing after infestation last year. Going to purchase a trap.
|2018-04-30||SW19 3JT||Caterpillars seen on box bush|
Trap installed in courtyard garden - no sign of caterpillars or at least that was what we thought - closer inspection showed they hadn't woken up yet as the courtyard location is still quite cold and doesn't get the sun. They will be sprayed with XenTari.
Box Tree Caterpillar Moth Trap set up today in small back garden. Trap includes season long Ginko lure. Currently no signs of any activity, and none at all in previous years here in Southampton.
Caterpillars appeared last year 2017 and then we noticed the moth about. So far this year haven't seen the moth about, but a lot of caterpillars .
Caterpillars throughout my box hedges. Sprayed several times over several weeks. Saved nearly all the hedges. (This year - 2018 - they have grown back well.)
|2018-04-27||SW6 5AA||Major infestation of caterpillars in box hedge.|
Caterpillars, mostly small, found on box in pots. Removed by hand.
Box tree caterpillars in my garden in London SE16, near Bermondsey tube station. Several of my box plants have been attacked in the last week.
Squashed small caterpillars by hand . Used Bayer Provado but worried about breathing it in.
Caterpillar activity on box round shrubs
One bush badly damaged [removed], two others infested, sprayed with 'Ultimate Bug Killer', all I had handy. Seems to work, spraying every day when dry. Fingers crossed.
Pheromone traps installed in rear garden and one ordered for front. First nematode spray used.
Caterpillars and webs found. Removed physically and then sprayed.
Caterpillars x3 seen on box plant in a pot by the front path. Quite a lot of eating of leaves has taken place.
Collected and squashed at least 50 caterpillars from box hedge.
Caterpillar damage to bushes in the park
|2018-04-24||W4 4QG||Box Caterpillars|
Caterpillars found on box hedge. Removed caterpillars. Xentari ordered.
Box moth caterpillars in early stage of growth
|2018-04-24||W4 1HN||Caterpillar found in box hedging, sprayed 2 weeks previously|
Caterpillars eating box hedges around the Cromwell Hospital - spoke to the gardener and they are going to get the hedges sprayed before to much damage is done.
One garden actively managing the problem and preparing for the future with a pheromone trap.
Spoke to another household, pointed out the caterpillars and they are going to get the gardener to deal with the problem.
|2018-04-24||SW5 0RA||Caterpillars have eaten most of the leaves on the hedge. If it is fed and watered (around the base) it will recover. In future the caterpillars need to be sprayed as soon as they are spotted and a pheromone trap should be installed to catch as many male moths as possible.|
Caterpillars seen on 3 box balls in garden. Sprayed and pheromone trap ordered
Box moth pheromone trap set up in back garden.
BUXAtrap installed in front garden using syringe type pheromone lure
Numerous caterpillars in two tree boxes in our garden
BUXAtrap installed in back garden using syringe type pheromone lure caterpillars seen on box. Have eaten quite a bit. I am squashing them as I find them. Had them last year and trap worked well. Trying to stop them again.
Caterpillers infested in box tree in front garden. Hand removed as many as possible and will spray with XenTari.
Caterpillars spotted devouring hedge - now sprayed with XenTari.
Bad infestation of garden box hedges hundreds of caterpillars
2 Buxatraps installed with syringe type pheromone (ostensibly with 3 months life), one in back garden one in front garden.
|2018-04-20||W12 9TD||Two caterpillars found on soil near box, squashed by hand.|
Large infestation of caterpillars in hedge round front garden.
BUXAtrap installed in front garden using syringe type pheromone lure.
Caterpillars found on two box trees. Sprayed but the trees are very big and it will be hard to get rid of all the caterpillars.
Caterpillars became active this week, after infestation last year.
|2018-04-20||E11 3NG||Caterpillars reported on box hedge that was badly attacked last year.|
4 traps in one acre area of box hedging and balls
Trap bought from greengardener.co.uk setup in back garden - this type has water in the bottom of the trap (adding a drop of washing up liquid reduces the surface tension on the water which helps trap the moths).
Installed one of the new Long Life Lure which last a whole season of 240 days. The lures are available from greengardener.co.uk
No sign of caterpillars so far.
BuxaTrap using syringe gel pheromone lure setup next to box balls & spirals in front garden.
Trap installed in front garden. This one from SBM Life Science Ltd, a BuxaTrap with the pheromone lure supplied as a gel in a syringe. It will be interesting to see how it compares to the Long Life Lure in the back garden.