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Boxwood Shrub Pest Alert

Boxwood moth damage
Photos courtesy of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

A newly identified and devastating pest is currently making its way into our landscapes. The insect is called, “Box Tree Moth” and it is a deadly threat to all species of boxwood shrubs.

Currently this insect has been found in 12 Michigan counties and will certainly continue to spread. In fact the outbreak is so serious that buying and planting new boxwood shrubs is under quarantine in 12 counties.

Box Tree Moth does not simply feed on boxwood shrubs, they kill the entire shrub.

The insect can have as many as 5 life cycles in a single year and are a threat of killing any boxwood from mid April through September and depending on weather even into early October. The insect not only feeds on the leaves but also on the stems until the shrub is girdled and thus dies.

The latest recommendation is to spray all boxwood shrubs in July (though at the time of this blog post, we’ve already missed the July treatment recommendation) and September of 2023 with follow up care moving forward into 2024.

Boxwood moth
Photos by Szabolcs Sáfián, University of West Hungary,

Since MSU Extension and MDARD just updated their quarantine and recommended treatment information it is vital that if you have boxwood shrubs as part of your landscape you should contact our office to schedule the September treatment as suggested by MSU Extension.

Since we will not have the time to go and visit every property and since Box Tree Moth is so deadly to boxwood shrubs we have already put in place a treatment option and cost, (offering everyone a 1 time rate) so when you call we can make sure your boxwood shrubs are treated in a timely manner.

Box Tree Moth is aggressive, can fly up to 5 miles, and feeds by the hundreds if not thousands as it continues killing boxwood shrubs.

More information will be posted on our website under tree tips as they become available. You can also see further information on the MSU website.

Call now to schedule this vital treatment.


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