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The Spotted Lanternfly

Spotted Lanternfly Treatment and Removal

The spotted lanternfly is an invasive insect that damages or kills plants that are native to our area. Spotted lanternflies were first documented in Berks County in September 2014. Since then, populations of this damaging invasive species have grown in massive quantities and have now spread to other Pennsylvania counties and states, such as Delaware, New York, and Virginia.

Learn more about how spotted lanternflies can damage trees, and how professional tree care can effectively treat and remove lanternflies.

Will Lanternflies Damage My Trees?

Spotted lanternfly damage affects landscape trees by “piercing and sucking” the sap out of the tree. They are also considered a “nuisance pest” because swarms of hundreds or even thousands of lanternflies can invade homes and businesses.

Just a couple years ago, it was believed that spotted lanternflies only attacked one species of tree –the “Tree of Heaven”–which is a non-native, invasive tree that is most often considered an unwanted weed-tree. However, as the populations have skyrocketed, a lot more has been learned about this pest, and the list of plant and tree types that lanternflies damage has gotten longer.

You should treat any trees that are infested with spotted lanternflies. Spotted lanternflies can kill your trees, and it is much less expensive to treat them than it is to replace them. It is also good to treat them because it will help reduce the population of this damaging insect.

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Other Problems from Spotted Lanternflies

The lanternflies excrete “Honeydew”. Honeydew is a clear, sticky substance which attracts ants, bees, wasps and hornets.

A fungus called Sooty Mold feeds on honeydew and leaves a black, sticky substance on trees and other surfaces.

Professional Spotted Lanternfly Treatment

The two primary methods of spotted lanternfly treatments are soil injection or spraying the trees. Both would be performed with an insect control product that will be effective against the lanternflies. 

 

Soil Injection

We often think of lanternflies as a summer pest problem. But their life cycle starts the previous fall when females leave egg masses. These eggs hatch in late April to June, depending on environmental conditions. 

Timing is very important when deciding on a treatment. When performed early enough in the spring – the soil injection method is the best way to save your trees from spotted lanternflies. 

A soil injection is performed with equipment that injects an insect control material into the soil, and the material is then taken up into the tree by the roots and the tree’s circulatory system. 

The material makes its way to all living parts of the tree, and the insects die when they begin feeding on the plant. 

 

Spraying Trees

Spraying trees to control spotted lanternflies is also done with an appropriate insecticide that will be effective against this pest.

At Green Giant, we often find that a combination of these two methods is the most effective way to stop spotted lanternflies and their damage. 

 

Work With a Professional

Spotted lanternflies can quickly repopulate, making it hard to remove yourself. Their life cycle also requires early and prolonged treatment, as they start laying eggs in fall. 

As a professional tree care and pest control company, we can help control and prevent spotted lanternflies. Your Green Giant tree technician will work with you to find a solution that’s right for you and your trees. 

We also have experience treating spotted lanternflies on commercial properties. Spotted lanternflies have already impacted several Pennsylvania industries, including the grape, hops, logging, and fruit industries.

 

Contact Green Giant for more information on spotted lanternfly removal, or request an estimate for your residential or commercial property.