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Invasive Box Tree Moth Spotted in Ohio's Dayton Area
Ohio Ag Connection - 09/27/2023

The Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) is asking the public to report sightings of the box tree moth (BTM), an invasive pest from East Asia that poses a threat to boxwood plantings.

The BTM was first spotted in Ohio near the border of Hamilton and Clermont counties in June 2023, and has since been detected in Warren, Butler, and Montgomery counties.

Boxwood is a popular ornamental shrub that is a valuable part of Ohio's nursery stock economy. The BTM can cause significant damage to boxwood plants, and can even kill them if left untreated.

How to identify the BTM:

The BTM is a small moth with brown and white wings. The adult moth is about half an inch long. The larvae (caterpillars) are green and black, and can grow to be about one inch long.

Signs of BTM infestation:

Signs of BTM infestation include chewed or missing leaves, yellowing or brown leaves, white webbing, and green-black excrement on or around the plant. What to do if you see a BTM:

If you see a BTM, do not touch it or harm it. Instead, report it to the ODA using their online reporting tool.

How to protect your boxwood plants from the BTM:

• Residents can look for and report any signs of infestation by following these steps:

• Familiarize yourself with the insect’s appearance and signs of damage on boxwood shrubs.

• 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 it.

For more information on the box tree moth, please visit the ODA's website.

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