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How to Get Rid of the Spotted Lanternfly

October 22, 2020
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You’re likely here because you want to be proactive about controlling the invasive spotted lanternfly in your area.

That’s great news! Keeping the spotted lanternfly under control is a team effort. If you live in a state that’s been infested by this pest (including Pennsylvania, Delaware, Massachusetts,

Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Virginia, and West Virginia) or in a nearby state, you can help minimize the damage spotted lanternflies cause across the country.

How, you ask? Below, learn what you can do to help protect your trees and community from the spotted lanternfly.

How to Get Rid of Spotted Lanternflies

Both you and your local arborist play a role in removing lanternflies from your yard. Let’s talk about your role first.

Finding and destroying spotted lanternfly eggs help ensure they cannot infest your trees or migrate to other places. Egg masses can be found anytime between October and April. The mass is about 1 inch long and looks like a gray or brown clump of mud. You should periodically look for eggs on:

  • The trunk and branches of your trees, particularly a tree of heaven and other plants near it.
  • Outdoor furniture, hardscapes, and all other smooth surfaces. This can be anything from rocks to a barbecue grill to a kids’ swing set.
  • Your car, including the wheel wells and windshield.

If you find egg masses, use a knife to scrape them into a plastic bag of alcohol or hand sanitizer, then throw them away. Most importantly, alert your state’s Department of Agriculture to help them track the spread of this pest.

Should I Use Spotted Lanternfly Spray?

By late summer , spotted lanternflies have become full-grown, winged insects. At this point, you’ll need a different intervention.

You can use spotted lanternfly spray, also known as a contact insecticide. The insecticide will kill the insect when sprayed directly on it. The best use case for an insecticide spray is when you discover a group of spotted lanternflies clustered together on your tree and you can spray them at once.

Find out how to identify spotted lanternflies here. And again, make sure you contact your Department of Agriculture if you see them.

Proper Spotted Lanternfly Treatment

When a contact insecticide isn’t practical—for example, if lanternflies are spread throughout your yard, or you want to avoid handling an insecticide on your own—a systemic insecticide is the proper spotted lanternfly treatment.

In this case, a professional arborist applies the insecticide with a trunk or soil injection, the tree takes it in, and lanternflies consume the insecticide when they feed on the tree. To learn more about this approach, contact your local Davey arborist.

How to Protect Trees from Spotted Lanternfly Infestations

The last thing to cover is lanternfly control during the “nymph” stage. This period is sometime between May and July when lanternfly eggs have hatched but they’re not fully grown.

You can protect your trees from lanternfly nymphs with a sticky tree band. As the nymphs travel up and down the tree’s trunk, they’ll get stuck in the band and can easily be removed.

One other way to protect your plants is to consider removing a tree of heaven if you have it. This tree is a favorite of the spotted lanternfly, and when it's around, nearby trees are at risk. Because the tree of heaven is itself invasive , you’ll need help from a professional arborist to get rid of it for good.

Learn why spotted lanternflies are dangerous to trees.

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