Research project Raising awareness about monitoring and controlling the boxwood moth (Cydalima perspectalis) in Flanders

Moth with transparent wings with black edge on a boxwood plant

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General introduction

The boxwood moth is spreading rapidly throughout Flanders. The damage caused by the caterpillars is causing great concern among producers, traders, owners and caretakers of boxwood plants. A correct and efficient approach will keep this pest under control, but knowledge about it is not always available and it is difficult to reach the target group. The aim of this project was to slow down the further spread of boxwood moth using straightforward communication about its monitoring and control. The target group consists of professional users, public authorities and private individuals.

Research approach

This project is now finished. In order to determine the exact time of day for monitoring and subsequent control of boxwood moth, two reference populations were closely monitored throughout the season in a continuous manner. We performed visual inspections of box plants weekly to detect eggs, larvae, pupae, spinnacles and damage symptoms, from April to October. Pheromone traps were used to observe the activity of the moths. In addition, cage tests were used to test and assess the effectiveness of a number of physical, biological and chemical control methods in practice.


Based on the information obtained from the monitoring and control tests, a feasible and efficient control strategy was drawn up tailored to the user. The degree of infestation, the number and size of the plants, the practical feasibility and the financial aspect were all taken into account. Within the framework of sustainable integrated control (IPM), it was very important to promote non-chemical control methods in addition to monitoring.

In concrete terms, each boxwood user was guided through various communication channels to learn to recognize, monitor and control the boxwood moth and its damage. The campaign was based around the website, which reflected the latest knowledge gained from this project. At the end of this project, the website will be maintained.