Spotted Lanternfly in Pennsylvania

Spotted Lanternflies on a Tree Trunk

We’re sure you’ve heard about the spotted lanternfly and the damage they cause. While we don’t handle bug issues, we’ll highlight a few facts about them and what you should be doing to protect your trees and plants!

What does the spotted lanternfly look like?

Spotted lanternflies appear different depending on their stages of growth. There are 3 stages of growth for a spotted lanternfly: early nymphs, late nymphs, and adults.

The early nymphs are very small, they are all black with white spots. A late nymph is slightly larger in size and begins to show the vibrant red color on its body.

Adult spotted lanternflies are the only ones that can fly; they are extremely noticeable due to their colorful wings. These adults emerge in July and stick around until winter.

Where did they come from and what do they do?

The spotted lantern fly is an invasive plant hopper from Asia. They negatively impact crops such as grapes, hopes, and hardwoods. They are technically a plant stressor-they do not kill all plants or trees.

Moreover, their eggs are laid in the fall and hatch in the spring. Egg masses are laid on hard surfaces like trees, decks, houses, et cetera.

Signs of spotted lanternflies include oozing sap from trees, wilting, leaf curling, and tree dieback.

What should I do if I see them?

Penn State University states 5 steps for spotted lanternfly control:

  1. Stop the spread
  2. Scrape egg masses
  3. Use tree traps to catch nymphs
  4. Remove host plants
  5. Apply insecticides

Scraping and destroying their egg masses will prevent 30-50 eggs from being hatched per mass. Furthermore, we highly recommend using bands or traps on trees with a screening system in place to prevent squirrels or other animals from being stuck to the strips.

Look out for their host plants and trees! Their preferred tree is the tree of heaven. They also like pine trees, apple trees, grapevines, and other various fruit-producing trees. A full list can be found here.

Registered insecticides are also available. All insecticides used must be approved by the Environmental Protection Agency. We do not use pesticides or repellant sprays, so a pest control company would be the best to contact for spotted lanternfly control.