The Spotted Lanternfly - An invasive pest

May 01, 2020

The spotted lanternfly, an insect native to parts of China, Vietnam, and India, is an invasive pest in the eastern states of the U.S. As a planthopper, it’s a significant threat to the livelihood of the nursery, landscaping and timber industries, as well as damaging to many plants of agricultural importance, like orchards, grapes, and hops.

The red-winged, spotted insect was first spotted in Pennsylvania in 2014, and since then has spread to Maryland, New York, New Jersey, and Delaware. In response, counties within these states have issued quarantines limiting the spread of objects that might carry the bugs or their egg clusters. Some states have even implemented voluntary tree banding programs to assist with the trapping of these insects after hatching.

As stated in an article from Penn State University, “The spotted lanternfly is an invasive insect from Asia that first was found in North America in Berks County, Pennsylvania, in 2014. The pest since has spread to at least 26 Pennsylvania counties, as well as to New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia. Economists warn that this insect, if not contained, could drain Pennsylvania’s economy of at least $324 million annually and cause the loss of about 2,800 jobs.”

As the pest continues to spread throughout Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia, it is essential to understand where the pest thrives and targets for hatching its eggs.

What spotted lanternflies eat:

  • grapes
  • hardwood lumber
  • hops
  • nursery plants
  • orchards
  • tree fruit

Where spotted lanternflies live:

  • backyards
  • natural habitats
  • parks

How NEOGEN® helps to combat a spotted lanternfly infestation

We at NEOGEN believe an important element to success is to be proactive while committing to an effective plan. That is why we agree with Heather Leach, spotted lanternfly associate in the Penn State University’s College of Agricultural Sciences, when she stated in the article, “Tree banding is most effective in the spring to capture nymphs because many adult spotted lanternflies will avoid the tape.”

How to get rid of the spotted lanternfly

The Catchmaster Giant Fly Trap Roll, distributed by NEOGEN, is the perfect sticky band solution with 360 square inches of fly trapping surface. Ensure the band is snug against the tree so insects cannot easily crawl underneath. Once the surface of the band is full of insects, simply remove the band, discard and replace it with a new band to continue to treat the spotted lanternfly.

  1. Open the Giant Fly Trap Roll and extend the roll enough to wrap around the trunk of the tree.
  2. Place the band around the trunk, about four feet from the bottom of a tree, and secure the push pins.
  3. Cut the Giant Fly Trap Roll after placing it on the tree and secure it. For optimum trapping, the tree can be wrapped more than once.
  4. Monitor the trap and discard and replace the band once insects have filled the trap.

The spotted lanternfly poses a threat to agriculture crops as well as native and ornamental trees and plants. Due to their high reproduction rate ability to travel on wood products and vehicles, it’s crucial to identify and treat them quickly.

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