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How to Get Rid of The Spotted Lanternfly

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10 January,2021

How to Get Rid of The Spotted Lanternfly

How to Get Rid of The Spotted Lanternfly

The spotted lanternfly is an invasive pest native to regions in China, India, and Vietnam, but it has found its way to the United States. In 2014, it was found in Pennsylvania and has since spread to nearly a dozen states. This sap-feeding planthopper destroys fruit crops, trees, and plants and leaves behind a sugary substance called honeydew. The honeydew, in turn, encourages the growth of black sooty mold that further damages plants and trees. It is important that you report spotted lanternfly infestations to your local agricultural department. But, what can you do to get rid of the critters? Southern Star Tree Service, your local source for trusted arborist and tree services is ready to help.

Identifying the Spotted Lanternfly

The adult spotted lanternfly is approximately an inch long and half an inch wide at rest. The pest has four wings, but they hop from plant to plant more than they fly. The forewings are gray with black spots; the respective wing tips are patterned with tiny black blocks outline in gray. The hind wings, meanwhile, have a patch of red as well as a patch of white on each wing with the tip of each wing being black. Its legs and head are black while its abdomen is yellow. Don’t let this critter’s intriguing colors fool you though: they are a colorful cause for worry.

Life Cycle

Each generation of the spotted lanternfly lives for about a year but leaves behind egg masses containing thirty to fifty eggs per mass. These masses are laid on hard surfaces generally found below ten feet from surface-level. The eggs are covered with a mud-like protection. The spotted lanternfly goes through four nymphal stages with only the last stage easy to detect thanks to its red patches and ability to fly. The adults emerge in the middle of summer around July and are active until winter.

Managing Spotted Lanternflies

Join the battle to eliminate spotted lanternflies by practicing mindfulness. Here are the steps for managing spotted lanternflies:

  • Stop the spread: If you notice an infestation, be sure to inspect your car and any other outdoor items you are moving so that we can stop the spread of the spotted lanternfly.
  • Scrape egg masses: Check for egg masses from September through June and scrape any masses you find into a bag or container filled with rubbing alcohol or hand sanitizer.
  • Use tree traps to capture nymphs: Wrap tree trunks in tree traps to catch the nymphs. Consider sticky bands or a funnel-style trap.
  • Remove host plants: If you are able to eliminate the host plant, then do so. Otherwise, move to the next step.
  • Apply insecticides: If you have located the spotted lanternflies, then use a contact insecticide to eliminate them. Systemic insecticides are preferred if contact insecticides are not practical.

Call the Professionals

If you prefer to have an ISA-certified arborist take care of that spotted lanternfly infestation, then call Southern Star Tree Service to consult with a professional and schedule a flexible appointment.


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