The complete atrophy of the leaves, eaten parts of the plant and numerable cocoons were visible. Parts of the plants with chrysalis, life caterpillars of the pest with their faeces and fragments of their cocoons were collected for further analysis. As a result of the laboratory evaluation conducted in the Voivodeship Plant Health and Seed Inspection Service in Cracow (WIORiN), as well as in the Central Laboratory (GIORiN), the identity of Cydalima perspectalis was confirmed.
It was the first report of the presence of this pest on the territory of Poland which has been confirmed officially – the way that the pests were brought to Poland is not known. The pest comes originally from eastern Asia and has been brought to Europe along with imported plants.
The damages to the box tree are carried out by caterpillars, which start eating the plant from the inside which makes it easier to miss their invasion at first because, on the outside, the plant still looks healthy. Apart from eating leaves, the caterpillars of Cydalima perspectalis start easting green parts of the twigs which leads to the atrophy of the whole plant. The adult form of the pest (a butterfly) does not stay on the box tree, it only stops there to lay their eggs. From spring to autumn, Cydalima perspectalis can “produce” from 2 to 3 new, extremely numerous generations.
Unfortunately, there are no effective ways of protection against this pest and, as of today, there are no registered means of plant protection to exterminate this pest on the box tree. One of the methods of battling this pest is often inspection of the box tree plants and, possibly, a liquidation of the caterpillars by collecting them, as well as cutting down the already infected parts of the plant with cocoons on them and burning them.