Landscape Report


Box tree moth on Indiana’s doorstep


Box tree moth quarantine area in Michigan.

The problem

There is another invasive species close to Indiana that landscaping and nursery professionals should look for. Box tree moth (Cydalima perspectalis) is native to East Asia, and was first detected in 2021 in New York. Detections in Michigan in 2022 have resulted in a quarantine zone for boxwoods (Buxus spp.) in the state. Two counties, Lenawee and Washtenaw, are affected by this quarantine, as well as portions of Monroe and Jackson counties. This pest hasn’t been detected in Indiana yet, but the quarantined area is close to Indiana and Ohio. Anyone who works with boxwoods or has any of these plants on their property will want to keep a lookout for this invasive insect.


What to look for

The adults have two color forms, white and brown. The white form has white wings with a brown border and a white body, while the brown form has solid brown wings and body. Both forms have a characteristic white mark in the middle of each forewing.

adult box tree moth

Adult box tree moths, white form (left) and brown form (right). Note the distinct white marking in the middle of the forewing.
Credit: Szabolcs Sáfián, University of West Hungary,

box tree moth larvae

Mature box tree moth larvae.
Credit: Didier Descouens

The larval stage of C. perspectalis causes extensive feeding damage to boxwoods. They will skeletonize leaves and feed on the bark, which rapidly kills the plant. The larvae are bright yellow-green with two rows of dorsal black spots. Mature larvae have black and dark green stripes as well. They have black heads with a white “Y” shape in the middle. They will also use silk to join leaves together for pupation, so the presence silk webbing is a sign of this pest.

Check your boxwoods often for feeding damage and the presence of box tree moth. You can report suspected findings at

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