“Don’t be fooled by their good looks.”
Your guide to understanding what it is and what it can do.
Did You Know…
New Castle Lawn and Landscape have been assisting the USDA in running efficacy test on the Spotted Lanternfly? With several sites selected in the quarantine area, we treated Ailanthus trees with select insecticides. A few times a week, New Castle would perform a bug count of dead Spotted Lanternfly. With these counts, the USDA is able to see first-hand what insecticides effectively help control the Spotted Lanternfly population.
There are 3 main methods to controlling Spotted Lanternfly.
1. A contact spray can be applied to a landscape and instantly kill the Spotted Lanternfly. This is very effective however it does not have a very long residual.
2. A soil drench systemic is applied to the roots of the tree. The tree slowly absorbs the material through fibrous roots and gets distributed throughout the tree. Very effective control method but it can take several months for the tree to absorb enough insecticide to be effective. Soil drench application has a longer residual.
3. A bark spray can be applied during summer months when adults have already emerged. The bark spray is very fast to enter the trees vascular system however it does not have as long of a residual effect as the soil drench. On large trees over 40’ tall this material has to be injected into the trunk of the tree for better dispersal throughout the tree.
The Spotted Lanternfly is an invasive sap-feeding planthopper, first discovered in the United States in Berks County, Pennsylvania in 2014. Field observations indicate that the tree of heaven, Ailanthus altissima, is an important host plant; however, the Spotted Lanternfly is known to feed on a wide range of hosts including wild and cultivated grapes, stone fruits, willow, and various hardwoods. Given the wide range of hosts it feeds upon, the Spotted Lanternfly poses a serious economic threat to multiple U.S. industries, including viticulture, fruit trees, ornamentals and timber.
Given that egg cases are deposited on such a wide variety of surfaces, this is the life stage that may have the greatest potential for spread via accidental transport to new areas.
Although adults are capable offight, they are relatively weak flyers, relying instead on strong jumping to evade danger. Mated females pose a high risk for establishing new populations by accidental transportation on vehicles, such as open bed trucks, and introduce their offspring to new areas. Infested municipalities are under a quarantine that covers all living life stages of the pest and its conveyances.
Symptoms from the Spotted Lanternfly populations can be an unpleasant nuisance to homeowners. Host plants fed upon by congregations of adults may exhibit weeping of sap along the trunk as well as build ups of honeydew excrement. Black sooty mold fungus grows on the honeydew on the tree as well as on surrounding soil and understory plants. Weeping sap and/or honeydew build ups attract ants, bees, wasps, hornets, and flies.
The Spotted Lanternfly population overwinters as egg masses (1) and has a one-year life cycle. In Pennsylvania, the first nymphs (2) hatch in late April to early May and are less than an inch long. Nymphs (3) develop, all of which are wingless and incapable of flight. Adults (4) begin to appear in mid-July and are approximately one inch long and inch wide, with wings folded. Adults mate in late summer to early fall in Pennsylvania and form large congregations.
Although these have been observed on birch, oaks, willow, maple, and other tree species, they most commonly occur on the tree of heaven. Females lay eggs from late September through October and dozens of egg masses can be found near adult aggregations. Eggs are deposited on tree trunks, limbs, and loose bark as well as any smooth surface, including stone, vehicles, trash barrels, outdoor furniture, and other man-made structures.
Management efforts are targeted at multiple life stages of the Spotted Lanternfly. Egg masses can be scraped off of surfaces where they are found. Brown sticky bands are effective in catching nymphs on trees. Adults are controlled using a combination of Ailanthus host reduction and the establishment of trap trees treated with systemic insecticide, which has shown to be capable of removing significant numbers of adults in the population.
The Spotted Lanternfly
is Invading Pennsylvania
Don’t let the destruction continue,
YOU CAN HELP CONTROL THE SPREAD!
To report a sighting or to schedule a control visit, contact us