What to do about the boxwood borer? Measures and boxwood alternatives
Few pests have spread as quickly in German and European gardens in recent years as the boxwood borer. These nocturnal moths are so voracious that they destroy entire boxwood stocks. How can boxwood borer be combated, how helpful are the remedies and which boxwood alternatives are there?
Fighting boxwood borer – traps, insecticides, home remedies?
To say it straight away: an ideal remedy for boxwood borer is hard to find. Insecticides with their many harmful effects on the environment are not a good option. Home remedies, beneficials and plant tonics (e.g. neem oil, nematodes or algae lime) are worth trying, but do not always help reliably.
That leaves the boxwood borer trap. It is particularly useful as an “early warning system”. Because the most important step, if you want to fight the boxwood borer, is a regular check of the situation. This should be done at least from March to October by checking whether boxwood moth butterflies have been caught. As soon as you notice that this has happened, you know that within the next 10 to 14 days the boxwood borer eggs will lay. You have to take action now!
Are boxwood borer poisonous?
Boxwood borer are not poisonous – neither the caterpillars nor the moths. The problem, however, is the pests' diet: the boxwood itself. It contains so-called alkaloids. These are organic compounds that have pronounced pharmacological effects and can be very toxic to humans and animals.
Since you probably don't want to put the caterpillars on your menu yourself, you don't have to worry about your own health. Because touching, touching and collecting the boxwood borer does not harm us humans. Particularly careful gardeners wear gardening gloves when fighting the pest and / or wash their hands carefully after work – this also prevents skin irritation due to the fine hairs.
Infestation by boxwood borer – notifiable or not?
There is no obligation to report if you have found the boxwood borer in your garden, because there is hardly any danger to people or other living beings. You should do two things anyway:
• Inform your neighbors so that they – if they have box trees in the garden themselves – can take appropriate precautionary measures.
• Never dispose of infected clippings, leaves or entire box trees on the compost or in the green waste bin. Small quantities belong in the household waste in well-sealed plastic bags. Give larger quantities to the recycling center with the clear indication that your green waste is infested by the European tree borer. Only then can you act accordingly.
What are the alternatives to the boxwood?
If you want to buy a boxwood for your garden, but are afraid of the boxwood borer and other pests, the so-called Bloombux® as a boxwood substitute can be a good solution. It corresponds to the boxwood in appearance, growth and formability and is undemanding. In addition, it offers the advantage of attracting valuable insects such as bumblebees with a lush and colorful bloom. Boxwood borer and other pests are no threat to the easy-care Bloombux®, which is why the butterflies don't lay their eggs here at all.
With a boxwood alternative, e.g. the Bloombux® does not need to worry about pests and boxwood diseases. The Bloombux® is not only resistant to all boxwood diseases, it is also easy to care for and hardy. The cut-compatible Bloombux® can be planted as a container plant, specimen plant or hedge plant.
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