The Spotted Lanternfly is an invasive planthopper native to Asia. It’s important for home and business owners to keep an eye out for infestations on their property. It feeds on a wide variety of plants, causing sickness and death, and has the potential to greatly impact ecosystems and crops. Spotted Lanternfly is capable of causing serious damage to its host, including oozing sap from the trees, wilting, leaf curling, and tree dieback.
The Spotted Lanternfly is easy to recognize throughout its life cycle. In the spring, Nymphs have black or red and black bodies with white spots. Adults are about 1” long. They have grayish forewings with black spots, and black and red-spotted hindwings with a bold white stripe.
What Trees Do SLF Damage?
Spotted Lanternflies will feed on a variety of host plants from May through November, and their feeding preferences change as they mature. Nymphs will feed on a wide range of host plants while the adults target only a few species. There are over 65 known species of plants that the SLF will feed on, including the following:
Preferred Tree & Plant Species for SLF Nymphs:
- Tree of Heaven
- Black Walnut
- Fruit Trees (like apples, plums, cherries, peaches, nectarines)
- Ornamental trees (like lilac, dogwood, pussy willow)
- Grape Vines
Preferred Tree Species for SLF Adults:
- Tree of Heaven
Chemical Control Strategies
If you find signs of the spotted lanternfly, it’s important to act immediately to protect your plants and trees. Exterminating these invasive pests is crucial for tree health in Pennsylvania and beyond.
- Target Trees: Spotted Lanternfly feed on an incredible variety of trees. Therefore, GREENSKEEPER recommends protecting only high-risk trees that are most valuable to your landscape.
- Number of Treatments Required: The exact number of treatments depends on when the Adults emerge, and when the first application is completed. For the best protection, a systemic treatment is recommended early in the adult stage which starts in July. Then, a systemic or contact treatment is applied in Fall. This approach targets adult Spotted Lanternfly when pressure is most intense and hard to control.
- Timing & Treatments: Spotted Lanternfly is most vulnerable to chemical control in Adult stage which lasts from July through November. Both of the following treatments kill on contact and have staying power.
- A trunk spray is applied from July through September works both on-contact and systemically. For a few weeks after treatment, SLF are killed when they crawl on treated surfaces. After it is absorbed through the tree’s system, adults and nymphs are killed when they feed on the tree. Treatment remains in the tree for up to 60 days.
- An all over tree spray is applied a few times in September through November. This treatment kills SLF on contact and when they walk over surfaces with the residue on it.
The Escalation of Spotted Lanternfly Can Be Controlled
The Spotted Lanternfly is a prominent insect in many landscapes right now. Populations of the SLF have been confirmed in Bucks, Montgomery, Chester, Lehigh, and surrounding counties. The expert staff at GREENSKEEPER can help you with any aspect of spotted lanternfly control, including identification, monitoring, proactive and ongoing treatments with the most effective insecticides, and removal. Since the adults are flying insects and will fly in from surrounding areas, we will not be able to eradicate them. We can successfully minimize the number of adults that will occur later in the season.
Consider GREENSKEEPER’s certified pesticide services for the necessary insecticide treatments for your yard. Our management program is designed to control Spotted Lanternfly in every stage of their life cycle. And our skilled professionals have specialized training and equipment to treat trees and shrubs. Hiring our professionals will reduce your risk of pesticide exposure and save you valuable time. By limiting Spotted Lanternfly in the earlier stages of their lifecycle, we can reduce their numbers and reduce the damage they cause to your landscape! Click to contact us online or call 215-938-8440 and schedule a no-obligation consultation today.