Spotted Lanternfly

Spotted Lanternfly

Written by Jamey Schwartz- Plant Health Care Manager

With Spotted Lanternfly (SLF) being present in our service area for several years now, we are gaining a better understanding on what client’s expectations should be. SLF adults feed on a wide variety of trees, but are particularly attracted to ailanthus “Tree-of-Heaven” and maple
trees. SLF’s lifecycle consists of egg, nymph, and adult. SLF nymphs feed on herbaceous plants and shrubs, but cause little to no harm. Adults cause larger scale feeding and damage to plants beginning in mid-late July, also becoming a nuisance to homeowners through the production of honeydew, which attracts stinging insects. While adults are not often causing tree mortality directly, the heavy vascular feeding will lead to tree stress coupled with secondary factors that could cause mortality. To effectively suppress adult populations, we perform basal bark systemic insecticide applications. The basal bark applications are applied in mid-late July to the lower tree trunk, which will translocate throughout the tree’s vascular system. One application per year
can effectively suppress adults throughout the remainder of the growing season. It’s important to note that this application is not a deterrent and SLF must feed on the trees vascular system for the insecticide to be effective. We thereby identify and establish “Trap Tree(s)”, (highly attractive
feeding tree(s) to SLF) to manage SLF on a client’s property. We foresee SLF becoming more of a problem in our area, but we are equipped to effectively manage this invasive pest. Read more at: Spotted Lanternfly Management Guide (psu.edu)