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Spotted Lanternfly

Spotted lanternfly, Lycorma delicatula

The spotted lanternfly, Lycorma delicatula, is a planthopper native to Asia that ,detected in Pennsylvania in 2014. was 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 severe threat to the national grape, fruit tree, and logging industries.

Spotted lanternfly has a wide range of host plants, but it strongly prefers the United States invasive species Ailanthus altissima, commonly known as the tree of heaven. 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.

Immature nymph stage of spotted lanternfly The immature nymph stage is quite 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 spotted lanternfly management:

  • Egg mass scraping – removing egg masses from tree trunks and others 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 plant healthcare specialist can help you identify Ailanthus males and females and select trees for removal or treatment, and advise you on post-removal herbicide applications to the stumps to ensure the cut Ailanthus does 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 integrated approach to spotted lanternfly management consisting of mechanical controls (egg mass removal, tree removal, and tree banding) and chemical controls, your tree healthcare specialist can ensure your management strategy is environmentally friendly and yields reliable, long-term results for your money.

Why Choose Monster Tree Service?

Monster Tree Service is the premier choice tree service franchise in North America because we are passionate about customer satisfaction and tree health. Everything we do is designed to make tree care painless and straightforward for our clients – that is why we provide such a high level of service for such reasonable 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
  • Reliable expertise from certified arborists
  • State-of-the-art tree care technology

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