Ornamental & Turf Insect Note Logo
Arthropod Pests of Boxwood

Stephen Bambara, Extension Entomologist

CAUTION: This information was developed for North Carolina and may not apply to other areas.

Boxwood Leafminer

- Tiny fly present briefly in Spring
- Inserts eggs into underside of leaf
- Blister galls form by maggots on underside of leaf

- Some slight discoloration
- Over winters as pupa within gall

*Malathion or other spray at adult emergence
*Merit or Safari soil drench almost anytime
Use less susceptible varieties

Boxwood Mite

- Silvering or loss of green depth
- Not associated with discolor or dieback
- Adults rarely noticed; active cool season
- Damage both sides of leaves
- Stiple dots appear in short lines
- Use 10-X hand lens to check

*Horticultural oil, Floramite, Hexygon, sprayed in spring season while mites active. Follow-up sprays may be required with oil.

Boxwood Psyllid

- Characteristic cupping of terminal leaves
- Leafhopper-like adult
- Adult female overwinter on foliage
- Crawlers appear June

* Horticultural oil during crawler stage. Repeat 14 days later. 
*Imidacloprid soil drench

Eriophyid Mites (Eriophyes sp.)

-microscopic, elongated mites
-causes distortion at tips
-not common
-might be confused with herbicide damage

*horticultural oil after bud break
*spiromesifen or bifenthrin

mite distorted stem

Indian Wax Scale

- White, waxy, cap-shaped cover
- Circular to oval with reddish insect inside
- Found on stems on boxwood
- Leaves may yellow and drop early
- Crawlers hatch spring
- Overwinter as eggs under scale

* Horticultural oil during crawler stage; repeat treatment 14 days later
*imidacloprid soil drench for systemic management

Alternative Plants- barberry, abelia, Ilex crenata
Growing boxwoods in NC Hort Note 8618


Recommendations for the use of chemicals are included in this publication as a convenience to the reader. The use of brand names and any mention or listing of commercial products or services in this publication does not imply endorsement by the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service nor discrimination against similar products or services not mentioned. Individuals who use chemicals are responsible for ensuring that the intended use complies with current regulations and conforms to the product label. Be sure to obtain current information about usage and examine a current product label before applying any chemical.

For assistance, contact your county North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service agent.

Other Resources

Published by North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service
Distributed in furtherance of the Acts of Congress of May 8 and June 30, 1914. Employment and program opportunities are offered to all people regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability. North Carolina State University at Raleigh, North Carolina A&T State University, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and local governments cooperating.


Prepared by: S. B. Bambara, Extension Entomologists. Photos © J.R. Baker and S.Bambara. Permission required.
ENT/ort-135. April, 2005

Web page last reviewed May, 2011.