Spotted Lanternfly Alert
Spotted lanternfly, Lycorma delicatula, is a planthopper native to Asia that was detected in Pennsylvania in 2014 and is believed to have been in the United States since 2012. It reproduces rapidly and feeds on trees by piercing the bark and sucking the sap, resulting in tree decline and death. It has been classified as an invasive pest and quarantined in Pennsylvania, and is considered a serious threat to the national grape, fruit tree, and logging industries.
Spotted lanternfly has a wide range of host plants, but it strongly prefers the tree of heaven, Ailanthus altissima, which is itself classified as an invasive species in much of the United States. However, as much as we might like to see Ailanthus kept in check, leaving the spotted lanternfly to feed and reproduce freely off these trees will likely lead to a population explosion that could cause irreparable harm to North American forests and residential and commercial landscapes, as well as many tree-based industries.
The adult is distinctive, about one inch long, with grayish wings, black spots, and a slight red tinge that has been described as a “glow”. When it flies its bright red hind wings are displayed, although it is a strong jumper and moves more often by jumping than flying.
The immature nymph stage is very pretty: the first three instars are black bugs with white spots, and the 4th instar is red and black with white spots.
Spotted lanternfly populations can be managed or eliminated with the help of your arborist. At Monster Tree Service we employ a 4-pronged approach to SLF management:
Egg mass scraping – removing egg masses from tree trunks and other struck by hand during the dormant season (Oct.-Apr.)
Tree removal – we recommend removal of 90% of Ailanthus on the property and establishing the remaining 10% as “trap trees” to lure the spotted lanternfly for mechanical and chemical control. Your MTS arborist can assist you in identifying Ailanthus males and females and selecting trees for removal or treatment, and can advise you on post-removal herbicide applications to the stumps to ensure the cut Ailanthus do not resprout.
Tree banding – trap trees are banded May-July to catch the SLF nymphs as they crawl up and down the trees to feed each day.
Insecticide treatment – trap trees are treated with bark- or soil-applied systemic insecticides to kill actively feeding insects in current and future seasons.
By pursuing an approach to spotted lanternfly management that integrates mechanical controls (egg mass removal, tree removal and tree banding) with chemical controls, the arborists at Monster Tree Service can ensure that your management strategy is environmentally friendly and produces reliable long-term results for your money.
Why Choose Monster Tree Service?
Monster Tree Service is the leading tree service franchise in North America because we are passionate about protecting trees and helping people. Everything we do is designed to make tree care simple and painless for our clients – that is why we provide such a high level of service for such competitive prices. We want it to be an easy decision for you to work with us, and leave the hard work to us!
Monster Tree Service provides:
- Free assessments and quotes
- Honest, upfront prices
- Price-matching for competitor’s estimates
- Reliable expertise from certified arborists
- State-of-the-art tree care technology
If spotted lanternfly has been detected in your area, or you believe you have found the nymphs or adults on your property, contact us for a free assessment today.