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Caterpillars or something else

So practically overnight my two privet bushes have started dying, is it the caterpillars I have seen (only seen 2) or something else??
Should I chop the bushes right down and just let them grow back or try something else, advice greatly received thank you.


  • that caterpillar looks like box moth caterpillar to me ( caveat , no expert, just been at the receiving end of damage from it) - are you sure your plant is privet not buxus?
    Kindness is always the right choice.
  • TopbirdTopbird Posts: 8,241
    edited September 2021
    Looks like box plant to me too (not privet) and that is almost certainly box caterpillar damage.

    I've just found it in my box hedge and, after several years of battling box blight, it's the final straw. I shall be digging out 40m of dwarf box hedging over the coming weeks. The end. Finito. 

    There have been a fair few posts about box moth / caterpillar on the forum this year. It's obviously munching it's way across the country...
    Heaven is ... sitting in the garden with a G&T and a cat while watching the sun go down
  • mummee and Topbird only just saw this. Not sure if either of you still need any advice or info, but happy to help. We discovered these greedy so and sos in the spring and am hoping we have now got on top of it (fingers firmly crossed). We have a row of 9 lovely cloud-like mature box (over 20 yrs old) so were totally freaked out when we found out. Never had a single health issue in all those yrs before. 

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