The Box Tree Moth Trap makes it easy to detect and monitor a box tree moth infestation. The trap is placed or hung up within the box tree's foliage. It emits a sex pheromone with the odour of female moths to attract male moths into the trap and onto an adhesive strip where they get stuck and die. This early warning system indicates without using poisons whether box tree moths are present, how large any infestation is and the best time to implement control measures.
The trap does not replace control measures. It is designed only to detect and sligthly reduce infestations.
In central Europe the Swissinno Box Tree Trap should be used from May to September. In especially warm years or regions, it should be used from March to November. The moth's reproduction cycle is 45-90 days, depending on the weather, so in one year two or three generations can be produced, or even more if the conditions are right. Hang the trap close to the box trees and preferably position it where the wind will blow pheromone from the trap towards the trees. Box tree moths are nocturnal and during the day hide in box trees. When dealing with large bushes and hedges, it is best to place the traps within their foliage. The Swissinno Box Tree Moth Trap is effective over an area of about 200 sqm. Replace the adhesive strip and the pheromone capsule after 3 months use at the latest or when the adhesive surface becomes full.
While the trap is not intended to be a complete method of moth control, it does disrupt the breeding cycle by reducing the population of male moths which in turn decreases the quantity of eggs that are fertilised and so the number of box tree caterpillars that are produced.
The young caterpillars appear about 14 days after the moths begin flying. This is the time to search for them and eliminate them by whatever recommended method you choose.
- collecting the caterpillars by hand
- blasting the caterpillars using a pressure washer or a garden hose with a power-jet and disposing of the bodies that are washed off
- suffocating the caterpillars with plastic bags
- treating with an approved pesticide.
Box tree moth eggs and young caterpillars hibernate in winter. From mid-March the emerging caterpillars appear in box trees and the first damage occurs. These caterpillars are not detected by the Box Tree Moth Trap, so the box trees should be checked for caterpillar infestation in March and, if necessary, control measures should implemented immediately.
In November at the latest, the trap can be taken down, cleaned and stored for the following year.
A refill pack of 2x adhesive strips plus 2x pheromone capsules is available.
• Unscrew the lid of the trap.
• Remove and discard the old adhesive strip and the exhausted pheromone capsule.
• Peel the protective film off the new adhesive strip.
• Bend the adhesive strip into a circle with the adhesive surface facing inwards and place it centrally in the trap.
• Open the pheromone bag. Take out the pheromone capsule without fingering it and place it in the trap in the centre of the adhesive strip circle.
• Screw the trap lid back on.
The box tree moth is nocturnal. The caterpillars of these moths feed exclusively on box tree leaves and young bark. They are voracious and consume several times their body weight of leaves every day. If left untreated an infested box tree will die in one to two years due to the massive damage inflicted by the caterpillars.
The caterpillars eat their way from the middle of the box tree foliage to the outside, so damage caused by their feeding is only noticeable much later on.
First visible signs on a box tree: dead and dried-up areas, which spread rapidly. Close inspection will reveal caterpillars, white webs and caterpillar faeces within the foliage. The leaves will show damage from being eaten. Where there is a large infestation, the rotten cabbage odour of caterpillar faeces will be noticeable.
The caterpillars are well camouflaged by their colour and they hide in webs.
A fresh new pupa is green.
An adult caterpillar.
An older pupa is brown.
In the case of a huge infestation, large areas of foliage are eaten away and twigs and branches are festooned with webs. The overall appearance of the shrub now clearly confirms an infestation.
As well as leaves, the green bark of young shoots is eaten and this eventually weakens the box tree.
The Swissinno Box Tree Moth Trap indicates the ideal time to implement control measures. Moths lay their eggs as soon as they begin to fly and the young caterpillars appear about 14 days later. This is the best time to start to fight them.
When ready to mate, the female box tree moth produces a scent (a sex pheromone) on her abdomen and releases it into the air. Male moths are attracted to the odour from far and wide. The Swissinno Box Tree Moth Trap uses this same pheromone to attract. males moths into the trap where they are caught on an adhesive strip and die. The pheromone attracts the European box tree moth species only, so other flying creatures, including beneficial insects, like bees, are not affected. Curtailing the male moth population means there are fewer mating opportunities and fewer females laying fewer eggs thereby reducing the infestation.
One trap will cover up to 200 sqm (= an 8m radius circle). If the garden is divided into several areas, e.g. front garden and back garden, several traps should be used.
The traps should be hung out from early May to late September. Central European locations can expect two, possibly three, generations. Exact timings depend on the weather and can vary from region to region.
The moths' flying season is short and lasts only one to two weeks each time, so there are usually only two generations of moths: in late May and late August.
In especially warm years or warmer regions, three generations may occur with moths hatching in May, July and September.
Hang the trap close to the box trees and preferably position it where the wind will blow pheromone from the trap towards the trees. Box tree moths are nocturnal and during the day hide in box trees. When dealing with large bushes and hedges, it is best to place the traps within their foliage.
The traps should be checked at least twice a week.
Replace the adhesive strip and the pheromone capsule after 3 months' use or when the adhesive surface becomes full.
The trap is perfectly safe for people. children and pets. It contains no poisons or insecticides. The sexual pheromone attractant that it uses is not toxic or harmful to the environment and the amount released into the atmosphere is infinitesimal.
The trap attracts the European box tree moth species only, so other flying creatures, including beneficial insects, like bees, are not affected.
The sturdy plastic trap can be used for many years.
A refill pack of 2x adhesive strips plus 2x pheromone capsules is available in stores. Refill items last for 2 years if stored in a cool place.
Of the four stages of the development of the box tree moth, only the caterpillar stage can be dealt with effectively. All the usual control methods are designed to be effective against the vulnerable caterpillars. There are no satisfactory methods of combating moths, eggs and pupae.
- When dealing with a small number of box trees, collect the caterpillars and webs by hand.
- Blast the caterpillars using a pressure washer or a garden hose with a power-jet and dispose of the bodies that are washed off.
- Suffocate the caterpillars with plastic bags.
- Treat with an approved pesticide.
Pruning and fertilising can encourage new shoots.
Box tree moth eggs and young caterpillars are dormant in winter. From mid-March, emerging caterpillars appear in box trees and the first damage occurs. The Box Tree Moth Trap does not detect these caterpillars so the box trees should be checked for caterpillar infestation in March even before moths become apparent. and, if necessary, control measures should implemented.
Box tree moths glue their eggs to the underside of leaves within the foliage of box trees. After about 3 days, the caterpillars hatch and begin to feed. After 3-10 weeks, the caterpillars are fully grown. They pupate in the box tree or in cracks and crevices nearby. The moths hatch a week later. Mating takes place during their short lifespan of 1-2 weeks and the females lay their eggs. A cycle lasts 2-3 months. There can be 2-4 generations in a year.