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A native of Southeast Asia, the spotted lanternfly was first discovered in Pennsylvania in 2014. Historically an agricultural pest, the spotted lanternfly is known to wreak havoc on fruit trees, grapevines, and ornamentals. This invasive species has the potential to damage trees for both homeowners and business operators alike.
While agriculture was their initial target, spotted lanternfly have quickly found new homes: our backyards, landscape, gardens, orchards, woodlands and community landscapes. If left untreated, the spotted lanternfly can reproduce rapidly, leaving risk for a heavy infestation, and can begin to damage your landscape and garden.
Seeing spotted lanternflies on trees in your yard? Learn how you can control them with Ehrlich.
Knowing how to identify a spotted lanternfly in all of its life stages will help slow the spread of this invasive species. If you see a spotted lanternfly in any of these stages, destroy it immediately. If you have an infestation and need spotted lanternfly control, call us.
Found September - May
Egg masses are laid on hard surfaces outdoors and can be hard to identify, as they can blend in with their surroundings. The egg masses are covered with a grey mud-like substance, giving them a mortar-like appearance.
Found April - October
The nymph stage consists of four developmental stages, called instars. In these stages, nymphs will grow from ⅛” to ½”. At first, the nymphs are soft and white, and then in the middle instar stages, they are black with white spots. In their final stage, nymphs are red and black with white spots. Nymphs can be found climbing trees and shrubs.
Found July - November
Spotted lanternfly adults are large, about one inch long, and have black bodies with brightly colored wings. Only adults can fly, however, they jump more than they fly, so their wings are often closed. Lanternfly wings are gray with black spots, and the tips of the wings are black with gray veins.
Spotted lanternflies prefer to live on plants and trees, including ornamental, woody, and fruit trees; vegetables; herbs; grains; and vines. Their preferred host is the Tree of Heaven.
There is one generation of spotted lanternfly each year. Spotted lanternflies lay their eggs in the fall, which then hatch in the spring. Each egg mass contains 30–50 eggs. Once hatched, the spotted lanternfly goes through four nymph stages. Adults emerge in July and are active until winter.
Spotted lanternflies feed on the sap of leaves, stems, and trunks of plants and trees. They end up sucking in more sap than they can handle, causing them to excrete the rest of it. This excretion is a sticky substance that can grow mold and attract other insects.
Spotted lanternflies are typically found in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, and Delaware. Ehrlich services spotted lanternflies in these states, but they are more common in certain areas than in others. If you live in an area where you frequently see them, check out which branches near you provide spotted lanternfly control.
Spotted lanternflies can cause severe damage to trees, crops, and many other plants. They also leave behind a sticky substance that can attract other pests, including stinging insects and ants. This substance encourages the growth of black, sooty mold.
Spotted lanternflies do not bite humans, as their mouths cannot penetrate human skin.
Spotted lanternfly eggs hatch in the spring. Lanternflies will lay their eggs in the fall between September and December. The eggs will develop at the beginning of spring and hatch in May.
Spotted lanternfly egg masses are laid on hard surfaces like trees, decks, houses, rocks, or any furniture or equipment that is stored outdoors. Their egg masses can contain anywhere from 30 to 50 eggs and are protected with a mud-like covering.
The best way to prevent spotted lanternflies from being attracted to your property is to remove their preferred tree of choice, the Tree of Heaven, from your yard. If you notice any egg masses, destroy them immediately by scraping them off, putting them in a container with rubbing alcohol, and then disposing of them. In early spring, you can apply sticky tree bands to your trees to catch nymphs.
Also, spotted lanternflies are great hitchhikers. You can avoid transporting them by inspecting your vehicle, trailer, or any outdoor items before you leave for another location.
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