Delineation and phenology of the invasive box tree moth (BTM) in Toronto

The box tree moth (BTM) (Cydalima perspectalis) is an invasive insect pest from Asia that was confirmed to be present in Etobicoke, Ontario by the CFIA in November, 2018. This is the first known introduction of BTM to North America. BTM attacks boxwood (Buxus spp.), a popular broadleaf plant used in residential and commercial gardens, hedges and topiary in Canada. For the nursery sector, boxwood represents a very high value, slow-growing crop in Ontario, Quebec and BC. BTM is a distinct threat to this industry causing severe defoliation that quickly leads to death of the plant in both young and mature specimens. This proposed project will help inform current IPM programs for BTM in Ontario by (1) surveying and monitoring to define the spread of BTM from confirmed locations in the Greater Toronto Area and (2) investigating the ecology, behaviour, and phenology of BTM populations in Ontario. This research is part of the ongoing research which is the first to focus on management of box tree moth in Canada, and more specifically in Ontario.

Faculty Supervisor:

Sandy Smith


Guo Cheng


Landscape Ontario


Architecture and design




University of Toronto



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