Under attack!

This year’s third wave of pyrale has just hit us. Which is odd as there’s hardly a box bush left alive. You can hardly go outside at night without swallowing moths. People are putting out basins of soapy water to attract them away from their box, and each morning they are completely full of dead moths.

Huge clouds of them are flying around in a very spooky way. Yuk!

Have you had the same? And what do you do about it?

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My neighbour and I have a lot of box trees. We treat them regularly with this product and they are thriving whereas nearly every other box in our area has been decimated.

Sorry about the awful box photo.

We do the same with our box and seems to work… although comes at a price! My pack is only 50g so looks as if yours would be better value.

Doesn’t help with being able to sit outside in the evening and not have moths dropping into your drinks tho.

The bigger packs work out much cheaper and, for us, the price is well worth paying to maintain the box. Hopefully in the future the papillons will die out in this area once they find their food source has disappeared and moths in the wine will be no more.

Word has got round the moth-world about your wonderful free exhibition of potted succulents, Jane. Irresistible, better than a Rolling Stones gig to generations of pyrale. :grin:

Maybe I should swap them for pictures of lepidopterists…

Thank you, having just taken over the house I found what appears to be a box hedge but it is almost decimated! Probably too late to do anything this year,but will search out this product.

I buy mine online via manomano.

I use that in different packaging, if it is the thuringiensis bacillus.

That’s my boxtree at the end of the terrace.

It is, it is sold under quite a few labels. If I buy the one on sale locally it costs about €17 for enough to make about 30 litres, the same product with a different container online costs about €26 for enough for 200 litres.

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Just found some other information that might be less toxic to wildlife https://www.ebts.org/2016/05/box-tree-moths-plague/ " Pheromone traps are a good indicator of moth activity in your garden and also as a preventative measure. Depending on which trap you buy it will last between 6 weeks & 3 months per dose of pheromone. Some traps covers an area of 0.40h / just under an acre, whilst others cover 180 square meters (which is 7.5m radius around the trap). Given the variety of ranges covered it is important to read the information on the trap you buy and use the appropriate number for the area to be covered".

The Thuringinensis Bacillus is a biological treatment and attacks only caterpillars. It is very easy to use and not toxic to wildlife.

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The traps only attract the males. And yes they are a good indicator of moth activity but won’t actually stop females laying eggs on your box. Last year I used a trap and then picked off caterpillars by hand from one bush, but they are tricky little devils so hard to catch them all. So still ended up with some damage.

This year I’m using a trap to work out when is the best moment to spray with the bacteria. And I’m trying out netting another bush to see if that works.

Your box can recover as long as the main trunks haven’t been damaged. If there are still moths round your way then still worth trying.

brilliant, thank you

Thank you Jane, its a big hedge so hand picking isnt an option but David Martins reply is useful too - maybe a two pronged approach?

Yuk I hate moths - scary things (to me) so I’m quite concerned to read this thread. I’m buying a house in rural Ventouse Charente. Can someone please advise is it only Box trees and hedging that attracts these critters? If so I’ll ensure if there’s any Box it’ll be taken out of my garden - drastic I know but I don’t want any moths around me.

The Pyrale de buis moths only eat box but there are plenty of other species around. I’ve never found them to be a problem (except for those that eat the box) but I don’t tend to sit outside in a lit area that would attract them. In the whole scheme of things it’s really not worth worrying about.

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Thanks for your reply David, much appreciated.

These particular ones are specific to box. But do remember that moths fly, so not having any in your garden is a bit futile if you are surrounded by box woodland.

If you don’t like moths and are planning to live in the countryside, then invest in fly screens otherwise you’ll go nuts.

And if you want a nightmare, this is what a box moth attack is like…

With my Phobia I wish I’d read about this 6 months ago and seen this really horrific video. I’m meant to complete on 15th October and was so looking forward to my move to France but hadn’t even considered a Moth problem. I’ll speak to the current owners tomorrow about their experiences and see if they have this issue. I didn’t see any insect screens up on the house but thought I’d install them to keep mozzies out. Despite the loss of my deposit and only 4 weeks away I’m already having a serious rethink. I’ve spent time in Africa and had the odd large moth near by but never seen so many as the video shows and if they landed on me I would freak out! . Makes me shudder just to think about them. Like snakes, frogs, mice or anything on legs but Moths nooooo!