Guard Your Boxwood: DIY Box Tree Moth Trap for Protection

Are your boxwood shrubs being devastated by the box tree moth? If so, it's time to take action and learn how to make a box tree moth trap. This destructive insect can completely defoliate your plantation, but with the right trap, you can effectively neutralize it. In this article, we will explore the box tree caterpillar and its life cycle, understand why making a trap is crucial, and discuss the most effective methods to combat this pest.

Identifying the Box Tree Moth

You have worked hard to create beautiful pathways and borders with boxwood and cypress. However, when you notice a decrease in foliage density, you may be dealing with the box tree moth. This ruthless pest can destroy the result of your hard work. To identify it, inspect your boxwood for caterpillars with shiny black heads and light green bodies. You may also see butterflies that resemble cabbage whites, but remember that cabbage aphids do not attack boxwood. Take immediate measures to save your hedges and borders from becoming skeletal.

The Life Cycle of the Box Tree Caterpillar

The box tree caterpillar goes through three stages: caterpillar, pupa, and butterfly. Two to three generations are born within a year. The butterflies lay their eggs on the back of the leaves, and the caterpillars hatch, reaching a length of 35-40 mm before transforming into pupae. After spending two to three weeks in a cocoon, they emerge as butterflies and the cycle repeats.

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When to Treat Boxwood Infestation

Adult box tree moths are most active during the night, so it's crucial to anticipate their activity and prevent them from reproducing. Making a box tree moth trap is an effective way to reduce their numbers. The traps should be installed from April to October, as this is when the caterpillars are most active. These traps are environmentally friendly and do not harm small birds.

The Most Effective Product Against the Box Tree Moth

What captures and kills the adult male box tree moths is a specific pheromone lure emitted by the females. The odor attracts the adult insects, causing them to fly into the trap through the holes on the side. Once inside, they become trapped, preventing them from mating and laying eggs. Traps containing two pheromone lures and sticky pads are available for purchase. One trap should be applied per 180 m2. The pheromone lure remains active for at least six weeks and is easy to install at the top of the trap.

Is Black Soap Effective Against the Box Tree Moth?

Some people wonder if black soap is effective against the box tree moth. While it can paralyze the vital functions of caterpillars, it is not as reliable as the pheromone lure trap. If you choose to use black soap, mix 1 liter of warm water with 5 tablespoons of black soap and spray it on the affected areas. However, keep in mind that natural predators such as dragonflies and certain beetles are also recommended as a form of pest control.

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How to Make a Box Tree Moth Trap

To make your own box tree moth trap, follow these steps:

  1. Get a container, such as a bucket or plastic bottle, and cut multiple holes on the sides.
  2. Place a sticky pad at the bottom of the container.
  3. Insert a pheromone lure into an aluminum sachet provided with the trap.
  4. Attach the sachet to the top of the trap.
  5. Hang the trap near your boxwood shrubs, ensuring that it is at a suitable height.
  6. Check and replace the sticky pad and pheromone lure regularly.
  7. Dispose of trapped moths properly to prevent further infestation.

By following these steps, you can effectively reduce the population of adult male box tree moths and protect your boxwood from further damage.


In conclusion, the box tree moth can be a formidable enemy to your boxwood shrubs. However, by understanding its life cycle and making a box tree moth trap, you can effectively combat this destructive pest. Using a pheromone lure trap is the most reliable method to capture and kill adult male moths, reducing their ability to reproduce. Remember to apply the traps during the active period of the caterpillars and consider natural predators as an additional form of control. With these measures in place, you can protect your beautiful and preserve the result of your hard work.

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