The spotted lanternfly has become a hot topic in our area and for good reason. Not only can they do some serious damage to orchards and vineyards, but they seem to be taking over football fields, outdoor dining areas, commercial buildings, and frankly any business near trees! They are a nuisance to the point of not just landing on people and frightening them but flying right into people’s heads. We don’t care how OK you are with insects – nobody wants that. And they have expanded their reach! Moving into neighboring states at an alarming rate.
The good news is that, unlike brown marmorated stink bugs, spotted lanternflies don’t want to sleep in your building over the winter The adults you see terrorizing your patrons will die off as the winter nears. The bad news is spotted lanternflies will leave behind egg masses on trees, sides of buildings, playground equipment, and just about anywhere else with a smooth surface to attach to. That’s why seasonal treatments are integral in dealing with these insects. Here’s how they work:
Dealing with Spotted Lanternflies in the Winter & Spring
Spotted lanternfly egg masses will be prevalent during this time. Scraping off those egg masses will definitely help. But spotted lanternflies often lay eggs on tree limbs that are out of reach. What do you do if you can’t reach the spotted lanternfly eggs, though? Marking the trees in the fall and winter will identify where the lanternflies are most likely going to be active next year. The best thing to do is to have a professional come out to do that. A professional exterminator can spot the egg masses easier and will be able to mark the trees with the correct material to withstand the normal Mid-Atlantic winter weather.
Spring & Early Summer Spotted Lanternfly Control
Remember those trees that were marked? Now is the time to spray the trunks to deal with the immature stages called “nymphs” that have hatched. The nymphs will feed on tree sap as they develop into adult lanternflies. Knowing where they will be feeding, spraying the trunks with specialized insecticides that kill the nymphs where they’re having their lunch is a good tactic this time of year. Be careful with DIY treatments. We’ve seen people using window cleaner and alcohol on them and while it may work, you could be hurting the tree itself, nearby vegetation, as well as beneficial insects that may be hanging around. Better to call in someone that is trained, licensed, and certified to use a product correctly so that only the spotted lanternflies are affected.
Summer & Fall Treatment for Spotted Lanternflies
During the spring and fall seasons, adult spotted lanternflies are gearing up to lay eggs on structures all around your business. Only a professional-grade insecticide applied by a professional will help with the adults that have invaded from a nearby property or been transported in. And then we are back to looking for spotted lanternfly eggs in the form of egg masses to start scraping. Spotted lanternflies are nothing if not predictable.
It’s important to know that just because the adult spotted lanternflies don’t live through the winter months – their eggs surely can. So, while we may get a respite from these large nuisances during the colder months, you will be sorry when the weather breaks and the eggs hatch en masse! They don’t have to bite or sting to be an issue around your business. And if you have an orchard or vineyard, you know this all too well.