The entire region of southeastern Pennsylvania needs to be on high alert with the latest invasive pest to enter our area, The Spotted Lanternfly. First discovered in Berks County in 2014, homeowners are quickly discovering how destructive this insect can be to their landscape.
Effecting over 60 different plants, Spotted Lanternfly has the potential to wreak havoc throughout our community. Frequent property inspections throughout all life cycles are extremely important in gaining control over your property from Spotted Lanternfly infestation and the damaging effects of Spotted Lanternfly.
Various Life Stages of the Spotted Lanternfly
The Spotted Lanternfly can quickly be identified during several different stages throughout its life cycle. As the eggs begin to hatch during the month of May, early nymphs (1st, 2nd & 3rd instars) are identified by their black bodies with white spots. At this time of year, they are seen moving up and down the host plants as they begin to feed. At this point in their life cycle, the immature Lanternfly can’t pierce through the bark of trees and tend to feed on more succulent growth such as flowering plants, shrubs and even grass! As they begin the final immature stage, usually during the month of July, they begin to make final changes before becoming adults, developing red patches over the black and white spots.
These Nymphs particularly favor the new shoots from Black Walnut trees, Cork trees and a top feeding favorite, the Ailanthus also known as the Tree of Heaven.
It is only weeks after their final instar stage before developing into adults. As adults, Spotted Lanternfly can gather onto trees in large numbers and cause significant damage to their hosts. While the list of possible trees they can feed on, they especially favor Ailanthus trees, certain varieties of Maple trees, Birch trees and Willow trees.
The Spotted Lanternfly lay as many as 30-50 eggs in a side by side group of columns. These egg groupings are then covered in a grey putty-like substance.
Nymph Stage 1
They can be identified by their black bodies with white spots.
Nymph Stage 2
They can be identified by their red and black bodies with white spots.
A fully grown Spotted Lanternfly has tan or gray colored wings with black spots. Red can be seen when the wings are spread.
A Proven Approach to Controlling Spotted Lanternfly
On medium to large trees, we employ a trunk Injection method to deliver Dinotefuran, a highly effective insecticide. When injected, it rapidly moves through the entire tree and quickly begins to kill these actively feeding Spotted Lanternfly to protect your trees from further damage.
On smaller trees where injection is an inappropriate application, we use bark spray which is a safe and effective delivery method.
The chart at the right illustrates the effectiveness of Dinotefuran, which according to testing being done by Penn State Extension, is one of the most effective pesticide available for controlling the spotted lanternfly.
Our Proven Treatment Solution
After testing different products trying to find the best treatment to offer our customers, we are happy to be able to provide an application that gives results in as little as 24 Hours. Spotted Lanternfly have a very big appetite and feeds on the tree’s sap. It is not uncommon to observe swarms of Spotted Lanternfly on your most valuable trees on the property, which is why systemic products that translocate through the entire tree and its branches have shown to provide fastest results available.
With the correct choice of products and precise dosing, these pests will begin to die off as they continue to feed on the sap containing the pesticide after the application has been made. Our program includes either a trunk Injection or bark spray method, using a pesticide containing the active ingredient Dinotefuran, which rapidly moves through the entire tree and quickly begins to kill these actively feeding Spotted Lanternfly and protect your trees from further damage. Smaller trees respond very well to the systemic applications, but when dealing with larger trees, a trunk injected application is required to give the tree its proper dose.
Signs of Spotted Lanternfly Infestation
From the immature instar stages to adulthood, the Spotted Lanternfly feeds on sap from the leaves, stems, and trunks of many plants. These insects prefer to feed on species of trees with heavy sap flow such as Ailanthus, Maple, Birch and Willow, but there have been reports of additional feeding on Apple, Cherry, Beech, Oak, Pine, Plum, Poplar, Sycamore, and Walnut. As they feed, trees can be seen weeping sap from the wounds caused by these insects. As Spotted Lanternfly continues to feed, they secrete an extremely sticky substance called honeydew covering the leaves, limbs, trunks and surrounding property which can lead to the growth of black sooty mold. A number of insects such as bees, wasps, hornets, even ants are attracted to this material making matters even worse. The Black Sooty also stains many surfaces including patios, roof and siding, and concrete walkways just to name a few. A larger concern is that through the damage from feeding on the sap of your trees, Spotted Lanternfly can weaken your trees so dramatically, and make them susceptible to other pests and diseases.
Take Immediate Action, Call Today | 610-306-6990
With the population explosion over the last few years, this pest has a history of damaging trees and making a mess of properties throughout our community. If you’ve seen Spotted Lanternfly on your property, immediate action is required. Our Certified Arborist will inspect your property and implement a program to maintain the health of your trees and protect your property. For the best control and proven results, call us to start your Spotted Lanternfly Treatment.