Homeowners to keep track of invading moths that threaten large shrubs

LINGING – Michigan State University Extension

Box trees were found in the United States this spring, including three in Michigan.

Experts say that the native Asian species will destroy most of the boxwood in the country.

The US Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service was able to remove the moths.

The MSU Extension, Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, and the Veterinary and Veterinary Inspection Service are partnering to encourage people to enroll in an early screening program.

Team member Jeremy Jubenville says it is easy to help homeowners.

Invading moth caterpillars first eat the leaves and then the bark, killing the bush.

“We have peromone traps that you can hang in your yard, and these prunes attract male moths,” said Jubenville, a gardener and greenhouse extension teacher in southwest Michigan. “These are synthetic chemicals that come out of the female genitals to attract male moths. And if there are no box tree moths nearby, they will be attracted to this trap.”

Male moths do not invade because female moths must be present to lay eggs.

The program is free, and participants are asked to check their traps once a week.

Jubenville wants to make sure no invaders are found because the invading species are hidden.

We don’t think a box tree moth was established in Michigan. We think we destroyed it. But he said that a little caution about invading species would not hurt.

A.D. Those who bought boxwood plants in 2020 or 2021 are encouraged to check for signs of an outbreak or injury.

The program will continue through October.

You can fill out an online survey for those interested in participating in and uploading traps. For more information on the box tree moth and other invasive species, visit the MSU Extension Epidemic website.

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