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Box Tree Moth

Scientific Name

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

Common Name

Box tree moth (BTM), box tree caterpillar


Diaphania perspectalis

Native To

Eastern Asia (Bras et al. 2019)

Date of U.S. Introduction

2021 (APHIS 2021b)

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)

Box tree moth
Image use policy

Box tree moth, adult


Photo by Szabolcs Sáfián; University of West Hungary

Find more images


  • Invasive Box Tree Moth Found in Ohio

    • Jun 26, 2023
    • Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

    • The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has confirmed the detection of the box tree moth (BTM) near the border of Hamilton and Clermont counties.

      A local resident submitted a photo of the insect to the USDA earlier this month, resulting in trapping in the area. Two specimens captured were identified as the BTM.

  • USDA Confirms Box Tree Moth and Takes Action to Contain and Eradicate the Pest

    • May 28, 2021
    • 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.

  • IDaids Supporting Identification of the Introduced Box Tree Moth

    • Jul 2021
    • 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.

  • Invasive Box Tree Moth Found in Lenawee County, Michigan

    • Nov 7, 2022
    • Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.

    • The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has confirmed the detection of box tree moth (BTM) (Cydalima perspectalis) at two residences in Clinton located in Lenawee County. Although not a threat to Michigan’s natural resources, extensive feeding from box tree moth can lead to significant defoliation and death of ornamental boxwood.  In May 2021, potentially infested boxwood plants were shipped to retail locations in several states including six in Michigan. The pest was then identified in three of the six Michigan facilities. It is not known whether the box tree moth populations detected in Clinton are linked or if the pest entered the state through another pathway.

Distribution / Maps / Survey Status


  • APHIS Expands the Quarantine for Box Tree Moth (Cydalima perspectalis) in Michigan

    • Oct 23, 2023
    • USDA. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

    • Effective immediately, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), in cooperation with the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD), is expanding the quarantine for the box tree moth (BTM, Cydalima perspectalis) to include all of Clinton, Eaton, Ingham, Jackson, Livingston, Monroe, Oakland, and Wayne Counties in Michigan.

Federally Regulated

  • Import Federal Orders

    • 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.


  • YouTube - Check Your Boxwoods for the Box Tree Moth!

    • Aug 28, 2023
    • Google. YouTube; USDA. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

    • Is something attacking your boxwoods? Don’t wait! Check your boxwood plants for signs of the invasive box tree moth (Cydalima perspectalis) before it's too late. A box tree moth infestation is lethal to boxwood plants. Watch the video to learn more about what to look for and how to save your boxwood plant.

  • YouTube - Box Tree Moth

    • Google. YouTube; Toronto Master Gardeners.

Selected Resources

The section below contains highly relevant resources for this species, organized by source.

Federal Government
International Government
State and Local Government