Should You Be Worried About Spotted Lanternfly on Your Christmas Tree?
While Spotted Lanternfly have invaded Pennsylvania heavily in the last few years, there’s not much cause for concern on your Christmas Conifer. The PA Department of Agriculture and Penn State have been working closely with the Pennsylvania Christmas Tree Growers Association, and they have been diligently training all tree growers on proper inspection practices.
Although the Spotted Lanternfly has been seen on many species of trees, they don’t appear to show an interest in the varieties used for Christmas trees. In a recent article published by the Penn State Extension, Tanner Delvalle, a horticulture extension educator states, “Christmas trees are not a preferred host for spotted lanternflies, so the probability of finding a spotted lanternfly or an egg mass on Christmas trees is low and should not be a reason for anyone to forego having a live holiday tree.”
Inspect Before You Purchase a Christmas Tree
Although the Spotted Lanternfly creeps us out this Christmas, the bottom line is that you should always check any live tree before you bring it into your home. All sorts of insects and critters can hang out in a live tree, so it’s best to do a full inspection before your purchase. However, other than the occasional spider, you can rest assured that PA Christmas Tree growers are adhering to strict standards and checking trees before they head to the lot.
If you are still concerned about Spotted Lanternfly in particular, know how to look for Spotted Lanternfly Egg Masses. At this time of year, all of the adults have died, but they’ve left behind eggs which will hatch in the spring. These eggs are laid in rows of about 10, and they are covered in a clay-like gray colored secretion. If you see them on a Christmas tree, you can scrape them off and destroy them in a bag with rubbing alcohol.
Check out Giroud’s informative post on How to Remove and Destroy Spotted Lanternfly Egg Masses. Before you head out to the tree lot, also watch Giroud’s instructional video on Spotted Lanternfly Egg Masses so you’ll know exactly what to look for: