It’s three weeks now since we spotted the box caterpillar (or rather its trail of destruction) in the garden, We’ve sprayed the affected bushes three times – and the funny thing is we haven’t yet seen either a caterpillar, a larva or a moth. Their traces are here all right; threadbare patches in the box with telltale tiny webs. The worst is the lower half of a pyramid which is heavily shaded in a wall corner. Could its position have something to do with it?
Meanwhile news comes in from friend after friend in London; serious infestations. The moth must be a fast flyer – it seems to land everywhere. I continue to spray – specially inside the plants. I wear rubber gloves and tease the branches apart to spray the inner branches. Encouragingly there seem to be quite a lot of new leaves sprouting nearer the trunk. If the pest has taken a break for the winter I’d love to know where it’s hiding.
STOP PRESS: A gardener in Provence has been fighting the caterpillar with pheromone moth traps (yellow, sticky) and regular spraying.