Under attack!


(Helen Wright) #21

But even if you eradicate any box hedges there are still a multitude of moths (and butterflies…)

I don’t have any box hedges or privet but If I have the light on at night and my back door open then I get the occasional moth…I prefer candles but even then I get the odd moth of many different species commiting suicide in the flame and preserved forevermore in wax…::.


(David Martin) #22

I can only talk from my experience but…
I live in an area decimated by the pyrale de buis caterpillars which come up to five times per year and eat the box leaves. The caterpillars and are very unpleasant especially when they hang on threads from overhead branches along the local roads and paths. The moths are not a problem. If I am in the garden later in the evening when the pyrale papillons de la nuit are around I might see a few tiny dark moths flitting around the buis. It is not a mass invasion, it is not something out of a Daphne du Maurer book or an Alfred Hitchcock film; it is a few small moths that keep to themselves.
Anybody who chooses to sit outside in the late evening under a lamp will attract moths. In my village the only moths I see around lights are those which congregate around the streetlights on a few evenings a year. I understand that phobias are powerful feelings but, in my area, there is no moth problem despite the amount of buis destroyed, people are more likely to be concerned about the bats flitting around. Now the conversation has started it’s hard to at don’t worry but if you end up in a place where moths flock around you will be very unlucky indeed. Please don’t worry unnecessarily.


(Ellen Gater) #23

Hi David, Thank you for taking the time to send your very reassuring message, it really helped. Having foolishly watched a you tube video someone posted it did rather freak me out. We obviously get moths here in South East England and as long as they don’t land on me I can cope albeit uncomfortably. It was reading about Moth swarms that I found daunting.


(Jane Jones) #24

I wasn’t intending to freak you out, but merely to remind you that rural france does have wildlife which can be extreme. There are people who move to the countryside and then can be surprised at how noisy, or smelly, or full of wildlife it can be. We were initially horrified by the number of wild boar here, and the damage they do. I am scared of them so it initially put me off walking in the woodlands here. However we have stopped them coming into our garden and I’ve got over it.

Our area has also been devastated by the pyrale, and perhaps the difference with David’s area is that box is a natural part of the landscape so the waves of pyrale are quite noticeable. It is significantly more than a few moths fluttering around a lamp, and is very unpleasant after dark even to people who aren’t bothered by moths (they are mainly nocturnal so day time is reasonable). Perhaps in David’s area the box has all been eaten so there is less to support a population of them. Here we have many years to go before we get to that stage. Talk to the neighbours about what your area is like. However each wave only last about a week/10 days so you could always take holidays.


(David Martin) #25

Box is part of the landscape in my area, it grows wild everywhere. I really do not recognise this idea of waves of moths and believe it has more to do with sitting outside under lights than anything else.


(Ellen Gater) #26

Hi Jane,
I’m sorry that you have such a problem in your area with Moths, alas you haven’t mentioned the area you reside in. In the nicest possible way I hope it’s not in 16460 Ventouse. Our nearest neighbour will be nearly a kilometre away, so I’ll sort this with the current owner before I move.

I have always lived in the countryside in the South East England, so very used to the sounds of animals etc. I’m a great fan of the South African bush for its wildlife - so not scared of hardly anything. I just have a thing about moths!!


(Jane Jones) #27

As we know France is a big and varied country. I am pleased that you don’t have this phenomenon, but my experience is not your experience. And hopefully the OP won’t have any experience at all of box moths and she is hundreds of km away from my area.

This is a photo taken from the front door just now, and if you look you will see about a dozen moths flying about in broad daylight. Plus a close up of the sedum outside the door - also in broad daylight. Next week there will be nothing. That is what I call a wave. Nothing Hitchcock’ian about it - just a natural somewhat diasagreeable occurance.

You say that in your area the box moth appear about 5 times a year. Strange then that it isn’t in waves like reported in so many areas of France now. We had two waves last year, and this is the third this year.


(David Martin) #28

The good news is that you will be moving to very close to me so should experience similar conditions. The moths appear five times a year and the eggs that they lay in October overwinter and hatch in the following spring. The moths themselves are never a problem. Luckily my experience is not like Mrs Jones’ but that’s not because buis is not indigenous to our area, it is and in the past three years has been virtually wiped out.


(Ellen Gater) #29

That is good news David, thanks once again for your reassurances, your kindness is much appreciated. I spoke to my sellers and they confirmed that they have never had to deal with swarms of Moths. I am now a much happier woman embarking on a new life in France.


(Ellen Gater) #30

Thanks for letting me know you are many kilometres away from where I will be. On the Moth front this is very reassuring. A silly phobia I know but just one of those things.