The spotted lanternfly (SLF) is a relatively new invasive pest to Pennsylvania and surrounding areas. Native to Asia, spotted lanternflies are destructive to trees and plants in your yard. These pests do not bite, but they are challenging to get rid of and are a nuisance.
Even though spotted lanternflies are a newer pest to the area, our expert technicians at Seitz Bros. have some tips for reducing the population of this pest.
Identifying the Lanternfly
Adult spotted lanternflies emerge in July and remain active until winter. Adults are easiest to identify as they are approximately one inch in size and are very active. They have black bodies and gray wings with black spots. When their wings are open, you may notice red markings near the bottom portion of their wings.
Spotted lanternflies lay their eggs in the fall on hard surfaces, such as trees, homes or rocks. The eggs are protected by mud and hatch in the fall and after the eggs hatch, there are four nymph stages before adulthood. They are typically more challenging to identify, so it’s best to call a pest control expert for proper identification if you suspect you have lanternflies.
How Do You Know if You Have Lanternflies?
Lanternflies cause the most destruction outdoors where they eat almost any kind of vegetation from grapevines and hops to trees and ornamental plants. When they eat, lanternflies tap into the plant with their piercing and sucking mouth.
As they eat, they also excrete a sugary water, which is also called honeydew. Honeydew becomes a breeding ground for black sooty mold, which is harmless to people, but can cause further damage to vegetation.
Other insects cause black sooty mold, so an expert opinion can help you determine if you have a spotted lanternfly infestation.
Reducing the Lanternfly Population
Spotted lanternflies are persistent and there is currently no way to prevent them from taking up residence on your property. There are some parts of Pennsylvania and surrounding areas that are in quarantine, which means there are lanternflies present.
The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture strongly urges residents to avoid storing items near infected trees or structures. Get in the habit of looking at all your outdoor furniture, equipment and machinery for spotted lanternfly eggs and nymphs of various stages.
The best way to keep lanternflies out of outbuildings like garden sheds or garages is to make sure buildings are airtight, gaps are closed and that you investigate walls and corners regularly.
If you are traveling in and out of a quarantined area, you are responsible for checking your car and other items you might transport for eggs. If you see spotted lanternfly eggs, you should destroy them. If you see egg masses between September and May, scrape them into a container filled with rubbing alcohol or hand sanitizer.
Let Seitz Bros. Help You Reduce Your Lanternfly Problem
Not sure if you are dealing with spotted lanternfly eggs or adult lanternflies? The expert pest technicians at Seitz Bros. can offer you some helpful hints and assess your pest problem.
Call us today for a free quote and to set up an appointment to talk more about lanternflies on your property.