Spotted Lanternfly Treatment & Control

Dealing with them at every stage.

  • Have already spread through 4 states and counting
  • Can cause serious damage to over 65 plants
  • Can ruin an outdoor area for your staff and guests
  • A swarm of them can come together to kill a whole tree

Spotted lanternflies are an invasive planthopper insect that originated from northern China and was introduced to the U.S. (originally found in Reading, PA) in 2014. They have since spread to several surrounding states and, without proper control, could continue their expansion. The Tree-of-Heaven is their primary host, but the pests can do serious damage to over 65 other plants including grapevines and roses as well as black walnut, birch, and several other varieties of trees. Large populations of spotted lanternflies can kill off whole trees or plants, hopping to the next one as a swarm to do the same, not to mention aggravate visitors and guests around your business, restaurant, or in your park. You can also listen to our experts here about these strange pests and a few others.

A relatively new pest to our area, the spotted lanternfly has become a menace to the agricultural community. But it’s not just farmers with orchards or vineyards that have been affected. People at multifamily buildings, office buildings, and schools in particular have seen large numbers of spotted lanternflies in several Mid-Atlantic states. Since they will lay their eggs on any flat vertical surface including trees, stones, vehicles, outdoor furniture, and even playground equipment, spotted lanternflies can be a problem literally anywhere.

Spotted lanternflies are not very strong flyers, so restaurants have been dealing with these insects literally flying into their guests’ heads in outdoor seating areas. While they don’t bite or sting, spotted lanternfly activity around your property is a nuisance to your staff and your guests.

Even though these pests started out in Pennsylvania, they were able to travel and expand their living areas to the surrounding states. Now, in less than a decade, they have moved as far west as Indiana, as far north as Massachusetts, and as far south as West Virginia. With no known natural predators, humans have to step in to not only decrease their populations, but to mitigate the damage they can do.
Where are spotted lanternflies?

What Does Spotted Lanternfly Damage Look Like?

As spotted lanternflies feed, they leave behind a sticky, sweet excretion called honeydew. This excretion is what many different kinds of pests prefer to eat including ants, aphids, and stinging insects. It can start up high but if you have enough spotted lanternflies in the area, the sticky substance can drip down, covering areas beneath it. Like all sweet substances, it can create a sooty mold if left unchecked. In severe spotted lanternfly infestation, the honeydew is so extreme that it can look like it’s raining from the trees.

What Do Spotted Lanternflies Eat?

Spotted lanternflies feed on the sap of plants. While their favorite is the tree-of-heaven, there are more than 70 plant species that have been identified they will happily feed on. Agricultural crops like hops and grapevines, fruit trees like peaches, plums, and nectarines, and ornamental plants are just a few.

How Long Do Spotted Lanternflies Live?

September is the prime egg-laying time for female spotted lanternflies. They lay their eggs in spotted lanternfly egg masses that are set in rows and then covered with excretion to provide protection to the eggs. This is the time to scrape those egg masses off! It’s much easier to kill the spotted lanternfly eggs than after they hatch. These egg masses can hold up to 50 eggs and females can create 2-3 egg masses in their lifetime. That’s about 150 spotted lanternflies we can take care of just by scraping.

Spotted lanternfly eggs can be laid on almost any surface and because of the protective covering, will survive the winter. Western can take care of these spotted lanternfly egg masses in New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Delaware, and Pennsylvania to truly help both the spotted lanternfly population and the damage they can do.

Once the spotted lanternfly egg masses hatch, they are on to the nymph stage of their life cycle. They don’t have their signature red coloring at first, so they are not as striking and noticeable. As they mature, the red patches come in but by then, they are already doing damage. Their life expectancy is about a year – during which they can do some serious damage and annoy a lot of people.
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