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Box Tree Moth

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Box tree moth
Box tree moth, adult - Photo by Szabolcs Sáfián; University of West Hungary
Scientific Name: 

Cydalima perspectalis (Walker, 1859) (Mally and Nuss 2010)


Diaphania perspectalis

Common Name: 

Box tree moth, box tree caterpillar

Native To: 

Eastern Asia (Bras et al. 2019)

Date of U.S. Introduction: 
Means of Introduction: 

Imported on nursery plants shipped from Canada (APHIS 2021b)


Feeds primarily on boxwood plants (Buxus spp.), where heavy infestations can defoliate plants and lead to plant death (APHIS 2021a)


USDA. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has confirmed the presence of box tree moth, Cydalima perspectalis, in the continental United States and is taking action alongside state partners and industry to contain and eradicate the invasive pest that was imported on nursery plants shipped from Ontario, Canada. The box tree moth can significantly damage and potentially kill boxwood plants if left unchecked. Between August 2020 and April 2021, a nursery in St. Catharines, Ontario shipped boxwood (Buxus species) that may have been infested with box tree moth to locations in six states—25 retail facilities in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, Ohio, and South Carolina—and a distribution center in Tennessee. At this time, the pest has been identified in three facilities in Michigan, one in Connecticut, and one in South Carolina, and APHIS is working with state plant regulatory officials to determine whether other facilities may be impacted.

Members of the public can prevent the box tree moth from spreading. Please allow State or Federal agricultural officials to inspect your boxwood trees and place an insect trap if they visit your home. If you bought a boxwood plant within the last few months, please inspect it for signs of the box tree moth and report any findings to your local USDA office or State agriculture department.

USDAAPHISPPQCPHST. Identification Technology Program.

In May of this year, USDA confirmed the presence of box tree moths in the U.S. The pests likely hitchhiked here via infested plant material imported from an Ontario, Canada nursery. APHIS has initiated an emergency response including a Federal Order (PDF | 162 KB) halting host material from crossing the border pending risk analysis. Here is a set of resources supporting identification of this pest to help protect America's boxwoods.

Distribution / Maps / Survey Status

University of Georgia. Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health.

Provides state, county, point and GIS data. Maps can be downloaded and shared.

Federally Regulated

USDA. APHIS. Plant Protection and Quarantine.

A Federal Order is a legal document issued in response to an emergency when the Administrator of APHIS considers it necessary to take regulatory action to protect agriculture or prevent the entry and establishment into the United States of a pest or disease. Federal Orders are effective immediately and contain the specific regulatory requirements.


University of Georgia. Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health.


Google. YouTube; Maag (Switzerland).

Google. YouTube; Toronto Master Gardeners.

Selected Resources

The section below contains highly relevant resources for this species, organized by source. Or, to display all related content view all resources for Box Tree Moth.


USDA. APHIS. Cooperative Agricultural Pest Survey.

See also: Pest Tracker - Box Tree Moth for more information

National Plant Diagnostic Network. First Detector Program.

See also: Pest Identification for more resources

CABI. Plantwise Knowledge Bank.

Federal Government

USDA. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

International Government

Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (United Kingdom).

See also: Pest and Disease Factsheets for more fact sheets.

Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

State and Local Government

Ohio Department of Agriculture. Plant Health.


Clemson University Cooperative Extension. Home and Garden Information Center.

Pennsylvania State University. Cooperative Extension.


Royal Horticultural Society (United Kingdom).