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Agriculture officials confirm finding of box tree moths in Western New York

Box Tree Moth
Posted at 4:39 PM, Aug 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-18 16:39:36-04

YOUNGSTOWN, N.Y. (WKBW) — New York State Department of Agriculture officials confirm the detection of the box tree moth in parts of Western New York.

Officials say the moth was found near the Canadian border in Niagara County.

The box tree moth is described as an invasive pest from East Asia that poses a major threat to the boxwood plant, an ornamental shrub that is a valuable part of the U.S. nursery industry, with an annual economic impact estimated at $141 million.

State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball said, “The box tree moth is a highly destructive pest that is a threat to the health of our boxwood plants. We are asking residents to help aid in our efforts to find the box tree moth so that we can better assess impacted areas and reduce its spread in New York State.”

Agriculture officials say that five moths were found Niagara County and were believed to have come from Canada in July.

Department of Environmental Conservation officials say inspectors found the presence of box tree moth larvae in a residential landscape in Youngstown earlier this month.

If you believe your home has been infested, you should look for the following signs

  • Check any boxwood plants you have for signs of box tree moth life stages.
  • If you find any signs of infestation, take a picture, and report here.
  • Please cooperate with agriculture officials if asked for permission to access your property for visual inspection of boxwood plants or for placement of a box tree moth trap.

Allen Proxmire, National Policy Manager in USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service said, “We need the public’s help to eradicate this pest. If you find signs of infestation in your boxwoods, please take pictures and include them in your report.”

Proxmire recommendeds that you contact your county Cornell Cooperative Extension service for information about pesticides available to consumers to kill the insects.