Spotted Lanternfly

New Invasive Pest

Spotted Lanternfly (Lycorma delicatula) is an invasive insect native to China that was first found in Pennsylvania in 2014. Since then it has now been found in eight states from Virginia to Massachusetts. See distribution as of Sept 2019. The affected area was only 174 sq miles in 2016, in 2017 it was 3,000 sq miles although this insect can walk, jump or fly short distances. It's spread has been aided by people who move infested material or items with egg masses (see image 2).  This may look like a moth (top image), but it is really a plant hopper.

Even though it has wings it can only fly very short distances. This insect is a potential threat to several important crops including grapes, fruit trees and timber trees.  It's absolute favorite is Tree of Heaven but it also frequents Willow, Maple, Poplar, Apple, Pine and Prunus (plum, cherries, peaches, apricots, almonds and more). See the life cycle image below.  Adults mate then find a place to lay eggs where they are protected under a waxy substance.  The egg mass starts out shiny then turns brownish in the fall.  Once they hatch they go through 3 stages where they are black and white.  Then the fourth stage they are orange and black with white spots.

Read more about the Spotted Lanternfly from USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

Life Cycle Of Spotted Lanternfly

Control Of Spotted Lanternfly

These insects suck the sap from the plant, weakening it and making it susceptible to fungus, other insect and weather conditions.  With almost all sap sucking insects, ferti•lome Tree & Shrub Systemic Insect Drench is the first choice.  An application will last up to a year, so one in the spring should protect all year. Unfortunately, it is not registered in  CA, CT, DC, MD, NJ and NY.

If drench is not an option, Hi-Yield 38 Plus and Hi-Yield Bug Blaster Bifenthrin 2.4 both leave a residue that lasts up to 3 weeks, but these can not be used on edibles.  On edibles ferti•lome Broad Spectrum Insecticide, Natural Guard Horticultural Oil or ferti•lome Triple Action are natural and somewhat effective, repeat 7 to 10 days.

Finally control the Tree of Heaven and you will reduce this insect.  Due to the aggressive nature of this plant you need to use a chemical treatment.  Either mix and spray or use Hi-Yield Triclopyr Ester straight on stumps to kill the plant and potential suckers.  Apply monthly for up to two years to attain control.  Hi-Yield KillZall 365 will be effective in areas where no other plants grow.


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