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How to Control Spotted Lanternfly

How to Control Spotted Lanternfly

If you have Spotted Lanternfly there is probably one question that you have. And that is, “How do I get rid of them?” But with this being said, the answer to this question is somewhat complex. The reason for this is that it depends on what stage of life the Spotted Lanternflies are at. Beyond this, we do not want to think of it as a battle, but we want to think of it as a war. And a war that needs to be fought on all fronts.

The way that Spotted Lanternflies need to be controlled is through some form of Integrated Pest Management System (IPM). For those not familiar with IPM, IPM is a strategy for controlling pests that tries to minimize the use of chemicals and stay ahead of the pest. This school of thought has increased in recent years as growers have continued to see the advantages of it. It aims to be proactive rather than reactive and requires using all suitable methods to control the pests. To go back to our analogy IPM views controlling the pest as a war needing to be fought on all fronts.

The one thing to note is that if you have Spotted Lanternflies, it is illegal to knowingly allow them to exist on your property. Further, only methods approved by the PA Department of Agriculture can be used according to law. (See here)

Here are is the recommended system for controlling Spotted Lanternfly from the Penn State Extension (See here).

      1. Stop the Spread

        This is something that we don’t often think of. But one of the best ways to control the Spotted Lanternflies is to try to stop their spread. This can be done in several ways. But perhaps the best way is to make sure that they are not found on your vehicle or anything that is transported out of the quarantine zone.

      2. Scrape Eggs

        Scraping eggs is one of the best and easiest ways that the Spotted Lanternfly can be controlled. This is done by using an old credit card or anything that can be used to scrape. The eggs are scraped into a bag or container with alcohol to make sure that all the eggs are killed.

      3. Band Trees to Catch Nymphs

        Once Spotted Lanternflies have hatched, the best way to control Spotted Lanternflies is to band trees. The reason for this is that the in the nymph stage, Spotted Lanternflies are known to climb up and down the trees that they are on. Your best option will be to target the go-to plants for Spotted Lanternflies like Tree of Heaven, Maple, and Willow.

      4. Remove Tree-of-Heaven (See also)

        The basic idea of removing the Tree of Heaven is to eliminate all the female trees so that the Tree of Heavens will not reseed. Further, the goal is to eliminate 90% of all the trees. The trees can then be banded and/or treated with a systemic.

      5. Apply Insecticides

        The final way/step that the PA Department of Agriculture recommends to control Spotted Lanternfly is to spray. There are several different sprays that are recommended. Follow the links below for lists.

    If possible, end with a question. Do you have any tips that you would add? Comment below.

    Sources and further reading:

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