Not to be confused with Gypsy Moth (which is extremely prevalent in Ontario this year), Box tree moth is a new pest in Ontario that is primarily found on boxwood plants (not in trees). Also, Box Tree Moth has only been detected in and around southern Etobicoke. Home and property owners should take a minute to learn the differences between these two pests, and then report any sightings of only box tree moth using one of two methods below (Step 2). For proper removal of infected plants and clippings, read here.
Box tree moth vs. Gypsy mothBox tree moth is primarily found on shrubs, not trees. Boxwoods have green leaves and are typically used as hedges.
Box tree moth vs. Gypsy mothThe Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) provides Pest Identification Cards that show what each moth looks like.
Step 1: DetectExamine all boxwood plants for signs of chewed leaves, larvae, webbing and frass. Larvae feed from May to September.
Reports from within the core zone (Toronto, Brampton, Mississauga, Vaughan, Richmond Hill and Markham):
Contact Meghan Greaves at 1-800-265-5656 or 905-875-1805 (ext. 2301)
or email email@example.com.
Sightings from outside the areas listed above (see map):
Contact the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) using the link https://www.inspection.gc.ca/about-cfia/contact-us/contact-cfia-online/eng/1299860523723/1299860643049
If you wish to hire a professional, we suggest you contact one of these licensed contractors to spray your boxwoods:
- Bruce Tree Expert Company Ltd, (416) 252-8769, firstname.lastname@example.org
- LawnSavers Plant Health Care, (416) 707-9994, email@example.com
- TruGreen https://www.trugreen.com, (905) 290-1871
Safe removal of infested plants and clippingsHigh populations of box tree moth caterpillar may defoliate boxwood plants; in some severe cases this can result in plant dieback. It may be necessary to remove or trim the infested shrub. Effective removal and disposal of infested plants is crucial to slowing the spread of box tree moth. Please follow the measures below to help prevent the spread of this pest to locations where it is not present:
- Place the infested shrub or branch clippings in a black plastic garbage bag and secure the bag to ensure it is closed tightly.
- Place the bag outside in direct sunlight for 48-hours.
- After 48 hours, larvae should be dead and the plant materials can safely be added to yard waste bins.
- May 15 to June 15
- July 15 to Aug. 15
- Sept. 1 to 20
More informationwww.inspection.gc.ca and LandscapeOntario.com/tag/box tree moth
If you have any questions, please contact Meghan at:
Toll Free: 1-800-265-5656 ext. 2301