On 3rd March 2020 the US Department of Agriculture – Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) issued a federal order amending entry requirements for Buxus, Euonymus, and Ilex entering the US from Canada due to the emerging risk of box tree moth. These plants, including propagative material, must now be accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate with an additional declaration certifying that the plants have been produced in an area recognized by Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) as free of box tree moth or the shipment has been inspected and declared free of this pest. APHIS has also made pheromone traps available to state departments of agriculture wishing to monitor for box tree moth in 2020.
EBTS UK presented a view from Europe at the 3rd International Summit on Boxwood Challenges arranged by the American Boxwood Society conference at the USDA Library & research centre in Beltsville MD on the impact the box tree moth and caterpillar. The conference was called as part of the ABS’s work to convince the USDA to act early to prevent further spread since it’s discovery in Toronto in August 2018. During a break in the conference Chris Poole, Chairman EBTS UK, Audrey Bras from the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and Jennifer Llewellyn, OMAFRA Canada strongly encouraged Shailaja Rabindran, Director – Emergency and Domestic Programs at USDA-APHIS to take immediate action to avoid any further spread of the pest. Prior to the conference, the ABS said there was some hesitation at APHIS about whether to introduce the new Federal Order, but having heard the information presented by ‘the international speakers’ the hesitation was dispelled.
The Ontario’s Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) have been running a pro-active program of information and action to track the location of the moth by providing free pheromone traps and spraying where infestations are found.
When the moth was discovered EBTS UK provided information and images for use by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s website articles on the Box Tree Moth and Caterpillar.