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DragonFli Box Tree Caterpillar Killer Nematodes - 70sqm



Catalogue Code: 10907405

Sale price

Only 5 remaining

Regular price £23.99

This devastating garden pest has become increasingly common since it was found in a private garden in 2011. Stripping leaves and often killing box plants (Buxus), the natural nematode of Steinernema carpocapsae is a highly effective biological control.

Pack Contents: 2 sachets of Box Tree Caterpillar Nematodes - treats 70m2


  •  2 packs of nematodes (each pack contains 25 million nematodes covering 35m2) – covers up to 70m2
  • Use immediately upon arrival and store any unopened packs in the fridge and apply before the use by date.
  • Box Tree Caterpillar Killer Nematodes pose no threat to humans and wildlife

What are box tree Caterpillars?

First recognised in 2007, the box tree caterpillar and has now been identified across the UK and Ireland with a high prevalence in London and the home counties.

Box Tree Caterpillars (Cydalima perspectalis) feed exclusively on the leaves and bark of box plants (Buxus spp.) and are the larvae of a moth by the same name. With the potential for numerous life cycles and generations in one season, occurrences of box tree caterpillar require repeated monitoring and treatment. Box Tree caterpillars are most active between March-October and caterpillars can overwinter within the foliage ready to commence feeding again the following spring.

The Box tree adult moths which are recognised by being around 4cm across when in flight with white wings bordered brown, lay pale yellow eggs on the underside of box leaves that are hard to identify. After a couple of weeks the newly hatched caterpillars are greenish-yellow in colouration and 1cm long making early stage identification tricky. It is not normally detected until defoliation of the leaves and dieback of the plants stems is spotted alongside a characteristic webbing and pale brown/yellow droppings (frass). The caterpillars feed on the leaves of the box plants and once damage is identified a closer look will find the characteristic caterpillars up to 4cm long with their greenish-yellow body displaying black round dots outlined white with accompanying black and white stripes running the length of their body. The white webbing that accompanies the caterpillars is found amongst leaves and twigs and is their cocoon to pupate into moths.

What is the damage box tree caterpillars can do?

The damage that box tree caterpillar can have on hedges, shrubs or topiary is significant, costly and once a population has established, rapid – within a week! Feeding heavily on leaves and removing dieback is unsightly and recovery is slow, in several instances damage by both the adult and the caterpillars can prove fatal. Leaves of box plants turn brown and fall leading to bare patches and quite often black streaks and dieback can be found on younger stems. As box is used for neatly trimmed formal hedging and sculpted topiary any damage becomes clearly apparent.

Not to be confused with box Tree blight symptoms which is a specific fungal disease, if you have box plants within your garden understanding early symptoms and checking plants is vital.

What are Box Tree Killer Nematodes and how can they help?

Box Tree Caterpillar Killer Nematodes are packed with Steinernema carpocapsae to naturally control them.

What are Box Tree Killer Nematodes and how can they help?

Box Tree Caterpillar Killer Nematodes are packed with Steinernema carpocapsae, designed to naturally control Box Tree Caterpillars. These hardworking nematodes enter through the caterpillar’s openings, devouring their insides and creating a bacterial infection that kills them. Once infested, the caterpillar will break down and even more nematodes will be released into the area to continue in wider control.

What climate conditions do the nematodes need?

Select a damp or wet day for applying Box Tree Caterpillar Killer Nematodes. These UV-sensitive organisms won’t endure bright sunshine, so apply them early in the morning or evening to get the best humidity levels.

When do you apply the Nematodes?

There are multiple generations of Box Tree Caterpillars in a season, active from April to October. To tackle infestations, apply nematodes repeatedly during this period upon sight of the very first small caterpillars.

How To:

  1. Empty the 25 million nematodes from their sachet into 2.5 litres of water, stirring until blended to make a stock mix.
  2. Fill a hand-held sprayer (filters removed) or watering can with a coarse rose fitted with 2.5L of nematode stock mix, then add 5.5L of water for a total of 8L of ready-to-use solution.
  3. Thoroughly douse your Box plants, top and bottom, and make sure you don't miss the middle of the plant going deep within the foliage. Generously coat the foliage and, if possible, apply right onto the caterpillars.

Apply a minimum of 250-500ml of nematode solution per square meter for best results.

For best results, give a second treatment 7 days after your first application, allowing any new hatchlings to get caught, as well as those missed on the first go.

Additional information:

To help maintain healthy box plants and to aid in recovery of any damage caused by the box tree caterpillar we recommend using Westland Buxus Feed & Protect throughout the growing season.

Detailed instructions included with delivery. Click here for digital instruction leaflet.


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