Spotted Lanternfly – How to Spot and Eliminate Them

A Spotted Lanternfly is a plant-hopper species that is native to Southeast Asia and China. It was first introduced in Pennsylvania in 1794 when cities planted Tree of Heaven to provide shade. They can spread quickly in orchards, farms, woodlands, and gardens, consuming everything in their path. These insects are particularly fond of apples, grapes, stone fruits, and even feed on barks of hardwood trees. It is essential to eliminate Spotted Lanternflies as soon as possible because their population multiplies rapidly.

About Spotted Lanternfly

Adult Lanternflies can be 1” long and about ½” wide. They have distinctive black spots dotting both brown forewings and red hindwings, which makes them easily identifiable. Immature insects are entirely black with bright white spots. Nymphs that latch onto barks are capable of draining a tree over a short time.

Eggs hatch during spring before growing into nymphs and reach full maturity with the onset of summer. Eliminating egg masses is a surefire way of controlling lanternfly populations. You can also remove favorable host species like Tree of Heaven to prevent infestation.

Trees at Risk

Spotted Lanternflies can feed on over 70 different species of plantings, many of them being plants of agricultural or forestry significance. These flies are known to destroy all garden yield in a matter of weeks. Here's a small list of trees and shrubs these pests can damage:

  • Apples
  • Almonds
  • Apricots
  • Grapes
  • Maple
  • Cherries
  • Oak
  • Nectarines
  • Pine
  • Plums
  • Peaches
  • Poplar
  • Walnut
  • Sycamore
  • Willow

 If you have any of these on your property, it may be a good idea to keep an eye out for an infestation. The most common sign of it is gray-black ooze from wound/feeding sites. Spotted Lanternflies excrete excess sugar in the form of honeydew sap, which attracts other insects and mold. You will also notice some dieback on branches along with thinning crowns. Quick action is necessary if you want to get rid of this infestation before it spreads further.

Eliminating Spotted Lanternflies

Translocative products that penetrate the entire tree effectively fight Lanternfly infestation. We use solutions like Dinotefuran and Imidacloprid to combat these pests, both of which are safe for trees and get fully absorbed through their roots. The effect lasts for three months, eliminating any fly that attempts to feed on your trees.

The solutions don't wash off or damage soil quality. You can continue growing beautifully healthy plants on the same soil. Hire a reliable, experienced professional for extermination because they know the best techniques. Inexperienced exterminators can compromise soil quality by using harmful chemical agents and spray pesticides.

Inoculation lasts for a year and works best on non-fruit bearing species. Exterminators can inject a solution directly into the bark after the flowering season that will kill all feeding Spotted Lanternflies immediately. Direct injection doesn’t suit smaller plants and shrubs; experts will administer pesticides through the roots. They will use different solutions if you have fruit or vegetable bearing trees to ensure they’re not contaminated.

If you want to know more about TKO Pest Control or want to book a service, don’t hesitate to contact us today and ask for a consultation!