(WKBN) – An invasive moth has been spotted in Ohio.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a resident near the border of Hamilton and Clermont counties reported finding a box tree moth.
Two specimens were captured and confirmed to be the box tree moths.
The USDA says the moth is an invasive pest from East Asia that poses a threat to boxwood plantings and the horticulture industry. Federal and state officials are asking the public and horticultural businesses to spot and report the box tree moth to the Ohio Department of Agriculture’s (ODA) reporting tool.
Below are some photos of how to recognize signs of a box tree moth in your area.
Box tree moth caterpillars are green and yellow with white, yellow, and black stripes and black spots. Adult box tree moths have brown and white color forms and are nocturnal. The color form that has been observed in Ohio has white, slightly iridescent wings, with an irregular thick brown border. The second adult color form is completely brown with a small white comma-shaped streak on the forewings. Males and females can show both colorations.
Signs of feeding include chewed, cut, or missing leaves, yellowing or brown leaves, white webbing, and green-black excrement on or around the plant.
ODA’s plant health inspectors and USDA staff will place additional traps and survey the area over the duration of the summer and fall to determine the source and extent of the population.
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.
You can report any box tree moth sightings to ODA’s Division of Plant Health.