“Be careful, the moths are here again”: in Aveyron, this caterpillar threatens the boxwoods

“Be careful, the moths are here again”: in Aveyron, this caterpillar threatens the boxwoods
“Be careful, the moths are here again”: in Aveyron, this caterpillar threatens the boxwoods

the essential
Tristan Bartheye, pruner, warns the inhabitants of the area.

A message as brief as it is concise: “Be careful, the moths are here again in Najac.” “Farmer of trees”, as he likes to define himself and manager of the company “De Branch en Branch”, Tristan Bartheye lives daily with trees. It is therefore on the lookout as soon as this caterpillar (most often in spring, but can extend well beyond that) clings to the branches of the boxwood, devouring the leaves with a devastating gluttony.
This week, Tristan found himself hard at work beginning his long crusade. Several solutions emerge as soon as a few larvae have been spotted. First of all, you have to be patient and start destroying these creatures which, if nothing is done, will destroy the boxwoods, symbols of the wetlands of the Aveyron gorges and nearby causses.

A nocturnal foraging butterfly

To spot it, nothing could be simpler: the caterpillar produces silk threads in the shrub. The adult appears in the form of a triangular-shaped nocturnal moth, silvery white with a black edge, with a wingspan of approximately 30 to 40 mm. It holds its wings flat when at rest and straightens them when active or disturbed.
The vast majority of species of moths that we have at home do not feed as adults, for the simple reason that they do not have a proboscis or just an atrophied proboscis. For the boxwood moth, it is different. It is a nocturnal foraging butterfly, it feeds even as an adult and therefore has much more time to lay eggs, hence an exuberant proliferation.

Natural treatment

“The best natural treatment against the boxwood moth is Bacillus thuringiensis,” explains the tree farmer. This is a bacteria which, once deposited on the leaves ingested by the boxwood moth, will attack its digestive system, preventing it from feeding. In a few days, she passes from life to death. This treatment is used from March to October by spraying both sides of the leaves and the center of the shrub well. The caterpillars should disappear within two to five days…
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#French

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