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Spotted Lanternfly Control

Spotted Lanternfly (SLF) is a destructive pest.   Worse yet, it’s spreading quickly.  There’s a lot at risk.  PA’s orchards, vineyards, and nurseries are in danger. Plus, SLF threatens the trees in your own yard.

Control Spotted Lanternfly

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Why Is Spotted Lanternfly Bad?

Spotted Lanternfly is a concern for anyone who has trees and wants to enjoy their yard.  Among its many evils, this pest harms trees, damages property and attracts stinging wasps. Giroud offers systemic and topical treatments for Spotted Lanternfly control on your trees.  Additionally, you can take many “Do It Yourself” actions. Learn More! Download our Spotted Lanternfly Fact Sheet.

What Is Spotted Lanternfly?

Spotted Lanternfly is a dangerous, invasive pest.  It’s a menace in our yards as well as for any business that relies upon trees.

Adult Spotted Lanternfly
Adult Spotted Lanternfly with wings closed (Credit: University of Delaware Cooperative Extension)

Damage to Our Yards

This pest multiplies rapidly, attacks trees in swarms and has a voracious appetite.  It also produces sour smelling droppings that attract stinging wasps.

No Natural Predators

To make matters worse, SLF has no predators here to kill it!  That’s because, this invasive pest is not native to the United States.  It was accidentally brought into our region from China.

First discovered in the US in 2014

The pest made its first US landing in nearby Berks County in 2014.  It has quickly spread across the Philadelphia region and into neighboring states.

How to Control Spotted Lanternfly

Spotted Lanternfly Control Treatment
Giroud Plant Healthcare Manager, Rodney Stahl, applies a spray treatment to this tree to control Spotted Lanternfly.

Stopping this pest requires an all-out assault from both you and Giroud.  Go to our Spotted Lanternfly Control page to learn more. What is the best way to control this pest?  Giroud has been working closely with Penn State, the PA Department of Agriculture and the USDA to determine the best treatments and timing for control. Based on the latest research, Giroud’s SLF Program is a combination of targeted treatments and Tree of Heaven removal.

Giroud’s Spotted Lanternfly Control Program

  1. High Risk Trees: SLF feed on an incredible variety of trees.  Therefore, Giroud recommends protecting only high-risk trees that are most valuable to your landscape.
  2. Timing and Treatments: SLF is most vulnerable to chemical control in the Adult stage.  This stage lasts from July through November.  For control, researchers tested numerous treatments.
  3. Giroud's Spotted Lanternfly Treatments WorkDinotefuran and Bifenthrin yielded the best results.  Both treatments kill on contact and have staying power.
  4. Number of Treatments Required: The exact number of treatments depends on when the Adults emerge and your first application is completed.  For the best protection, a systemic treatment is recommended in July at the typical beginning of the adult stage.  Then, a systemic or contact treatment is needed again in Fall.  This approach targets adult SLF when pressure is most intense and hard to control.
  5. Fertilization: Fertilizing trees is also important to promote healing and build strength.
  6. Remove Tree of Heaven: If there are any Tree of Heaven on or near your property, they will attract SLF.   Giroud has the special PA permit required to destroy these trees.  To kill it, the tree must be treated with an herbicide. Then, if desired, the tree and stump can be removed.

Get “Do It Yourself” (DIY) tips and more on Spotted Lanternfly Control.

Find out more about Spotted Lanternfly and how to control it

Spotted Lanternfly is a beautiful pest.  But, don’t let looks fool you.  It’s is destructive, dirty, and multiplies quickly.

Identifying the Pest

You need to be a real detective to identify this insect.  That’s because it goes through several changes in appearance during its lifecycle. Spotted Lanternfly Life Cycle Nymphs Adults Egg Masses

The Spotted Lanternfly Life Cycle is 3 Main Stages

Nymphs: May-July

Spotted Lanternfly Nymphs emerge from their eggs as small back bugs with white spots. Eventually, they will shed layers and becoe red with white and black spots.

Adults: July-November

SLF is most vulnerable to chemical control at this stage.  As adults, wings develop and are the insect’s true tell-tale.  With wings open, the underside shows bright red on patterns of black, white, and beige. An adult at rest, however, looks very different and muted in color with its wings folded down.

Egg Masses: September-November

Adult females lay rows of eggs on tree trunks or any flat surface, typically on the underside where they will be safe from predators. She coats her eggs in a secretion that hardens and looks like gray clay. This provides a protective cover through the winter. Learn more about What Spotted Lanternfly Looks Like!

Stinging Wasp Attracted to Sooty Mold Left by Spotted Lanternfly
Stinging Wasps attracted to droppings from Spotted Lanternfly

Trees, property, and people are all affected by Spotted Lanternfly. From a few bugs to massive swarms that cover a tree, this pest can unleash incredible damage. The trouble starts when Spotted Lanternfly taps into a host tree.  It’s a voracious feeder that sucks tree sap like a straw. But Spotted Lanternfly damages more than trees.  While feeding, its droppings coat everything around the tree with a sticky sour-smelling substance that attracts stinging wasps. Click here for more info about Spotted Lanternfly damage!

Spotted Lanternfly killed after treatment
Spotted Lanternfly killed after 1 Giroud treatment piled up around the base of the tree.

Spotted Lanternfly is not easy to control.  The reality is that stopping this pest requires your active involvement. What can you do?  Actions depend upon where the pest is in its life cycle. Among the most important controls are tree bands for Nymphs, chemical controls for Adults, and destroying egg masses. Click here to see more pictures and to learn more about how to kill Spotted Lanternfly!

Tree of Heaven Is Favorite Host for Spotted Lanternfly
Tree of Heaven is Spotted Lanternfly’s favorite tree.

The following trees are at highest risk for attack by Spotted Lanternfly: Maples (especially Red and Silver), Willows, Walnuts, Japanese Snowbells, Birch, Locust, Grapevines and several varieties of fruit trees.*  With SLF drawn to such a massive variety of trees, Giroud recommends protecting only high-risk trees that are most valuable to your landscape. Tree of Heaven (Ailanthus), an invasive weedy tree from China, is a favorite host for Spotted Lanternfly.   Ailanthus attracts SLF like a magnet and should be destroyed if it is on or near your property. *The list of trees that SLF attack is based on Giroud’s experience managing this pest and lists compiled by the USDA and Penn State.

Map of Where Spotted Lanternfly Has Been Found Spotted Lanternfly has spread throughout the Philadelphia area including Bucks, Chester, and Montgomery Counties.  It has also been found in neighboring states.

Where SLF Has Been Seen

Is Spotted Lanternfly in your area?  Check out our map showing where Giroud has seen reports of this pest! If they are in your neighborhood, be alert.  Go to our What Does Spotted Lanternfly Look Like page to learn how to check for them on your property.   Spotted Lanternfly Quarantine Map

Quarantine Zones

Quarantines are in place to prevent this pest from spreading.  The PA Department of Agriculture has created a map of the quarantine zone.  The entire Philadelphia region is in the quarantine zone.

Online https://extension.psu.edu/have-you-seen-a-spotted-lanternfly and by phone 888-422-3359
Report Spotted Lanternfly sightings to Penn State online or by phone.

How to Report Sightings

To conquer this pest, Penn State and the PA Department of Agriculture need to know where it is.  Here’s what to do if you see Spotted Lanternfly.

  1. Report your sighting to Penn State
  2. Destroy it!  Go to our Spotted Lanternfly Control page to learn how.

 

 

Find Local Meeting on SLF

Penn State Extension is hosting public meetings and webinars on this pest.  The meeting includes updates on the threat and how you can help control the spread.  Click here to find upcoming events.

Take Action

Take the first step. Schedule a free inspection with your Giroud ISA Certified Arborist.  Together, you can determine the best steps for control.Spotted Lanternfly Free Property Inspection

What trees do Spotted Lanternfly attack?

The following trees are at highest risk for Spotted Lanternfly (SLF) attack: Maples (especially Red and Silver), Willows, Walnuts, Japanese Snowbells, Birch, Locust, Grapevines and several varieties of fruit trees. With SLF attracted to such a wide variety of trees, Giroud recommends protecting only high-risk trees that are most valuable to your landscape. Tree of Heaven (Ailanthus), an invasive weedy tree from China, is also a favorite host for Spotted Lanternfly. Ailanthus attracts SLF like a magnet and should be destroyed if it is on or near your property.

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How does Spotted Lanternfly damage trees?

Spotted Lanternfly (SLF) damage trees primarily in the later stages of its life. Damage in Nymph Stage: May-July SLF Nymphs are mobile and tend to go after plants instead of trees. That’s because their mouth parts can’t pierce tree bark. As a result, they spread all over the yard searching for plant stems and leaves that they can easily feed on. Nymphs get progressively more harmful as they evolve through 4 Instar stages. – 1st and 2nd Stage Instars can damage perennials, like Salvia, when they are present in high numbers and don’t move on. However, most plants recover quickly. – 3rd and 4th Stage Instars begin feeding on leaf petioles and heavier twigs. By the 4th stage, Instars are 3 times bigger and high populations can start causing permanent damage. These larger Nymphs feed more heavily which can cause yellowing leaves, twig die-back and loss of critical plant nutrients. Damage in Adult Stage: July-November Tree damage from Spotted Lanternfly adults can range from oozing sap, wilting, leaf curling, defoliation and even tree death. Winged adults can attack a single tree in swarms. With so many feeding at once, the droppings (aka “Honeydew”) can look like rain pouring down on everything under the tree. Once there, black, sooty mold begins to grow and creates a sour stench. Even worse, the odor attracts stinging wasps. See Spotted Lanternfly damage for more information. Spotted Lanternfly Attack Trees in Swarms

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What is the best way to control Spotted Lanternfly?

Spotted Lanternfly (SLF) requires different controls at each stage of its 3-stage life cycle. Giroud has been working closely with Penn State, the PA Department of Agriculture and the USDA to determine the best treatments and timing for control. aControl in Nymph Stage: May-July The challenge with Nymph control is that the pests are very mobile and don’t stay in one place very long. That’s why, research has determined that the best time to control Spotted Lanternfly is at the adult stage. However, there is an exception. Nymph control may be warranted if the population is high enough to cause feeding damage (wilting stems). Or, if Nymphs are focusing heavily on individual plants. Here are two “Do It Yourself” (DIY) Options for the Nymph Stage: – Spot Treatments: Use a quick knockdown product like Neem Oil or insecticidal soap. Follow label directions carefully. Spray the oil or soap directly on the Nymphs. It will kill the pests on contact. Spot treatments will not have a significant impact on the larger SLF population. – Traps: As an alternative to chemical controls, use Circle Traps or Sticky Bands to catch the nymphs as they climb up and down the tree. It’s important to note that Nymphs are your early warning sign that the Adults are coming. By the Adult stage, professional treatment will be needed to protect high risk trees and avoid the mess created by SLF droppings. When swarms of Adult SLF invade our yards in July/August, demand for control is going to surge. We expect the need for treatments will far exceed our capacity. To ensure you get on our treatment schedule, call now to have your Giroud Arborist evaluate your situation and determine the best way to control SLF on your property.  See Controlling Spotted Lanternfly in the Nymph Stages” for more information, b)    Control in Adult Stage: July-November SLF is most vulnerable to chemical control at this stage. – July-September: A Giroud PA Certified Plant Healthcare Technician will spray Dinotefuran to the trunk of the tree. The treatment is absorbed up into the branches and crown within 1-3 weeks.  It kills the adult SLF when they feed on the tree.  The treatment lasts about 60 days. – September-November: A Giroud PA Certified Plant Healthcare Technician will spray Bifenthrin around the top canopy of the tree. This treatment kills the adult SLF on contact as they climb higher into the tree’s branches for mating and feed on treated areas.   The treatment lasts about 30 days.

How Spotted lanternfly treatments work c)   Control in Egg Mass Stage: November-April Adult females lay eggs in the fall.  Eggs are laid on tree trunks or just about any flat surface.  Adult females cover the eggs in a secretion that that looks like dirt or clay and protects them from predators over the winter months. This protection also makes it difficult to treat and kill the eggs chemically. If you find egg masses on your trees, destroy them by scraping the masses into a bag with rubbing alcohol or hand sanitizer.  Also, this is an early warning sign that SLF is on your property.  Schedule a free evaluation with your Giroud ISA Certified Arborist. He will set up a plan to kill the SLF on your trees when they are in the adult stage. See this Giroud blog post on destroying egg masses for more information. d)   Ailanthus Tree Removal: Year-round How do I remove Tree of Heaven (Ailanthus)? If there are any Tree of Heaven on or near your property, they will attract SLF. Giroud has the special PA permit required to destroy these trees.   We recommend removing the tree and grinding the stump down as deeply as possible.  After removing the Ailanthus tree and stump, sprouts may still pop up on your property.  To remove them, you can simply grab the shoot by its base and pull upward gently to remove the sprout and all of its roots.  If the sprouts are too numerous, Giroud can apply an herbicide treatment to kill them. e)    Fertilization: Spring or Fall SLF feeding can wound and deplete vital nutrients from your trees. Fertilizing replaces lost nutrients to promote healing and build strength. See Spotted Lanternfly Control for more information.

How to control Spotted Lanternfly at every stage

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How much does Spotted Lanternfly Treatment cost?

The cost of Spotted Lanternfly treatments is directly related to how many trees need treatment and the size of each tree.  These two factors determine the amount of insecticide needed to protect each tree and the amount of time required to do the treatments.

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How much does Ailanthus Tree removal cost?

Ailanthus Tree removal cost can vary dramatically. The ISA Certified Arborists at Giroud Tree and Lawn explain the top 5 factors that can affect the price for tree removal: 1.      Tree Size 2.      Proximity to electrical hazards: Is the tree growing near electrical wires or other hazards? 3.      Ease of Access: Is the tree located where equipment can be staged near the tree? 4.      Equipment Required: Is special equipment such as a crane or bucket truck needed to complete the job safely? 5.      Property Safety: Is the tree close to a house or other valuable structure that may require special rigging to remove the tree safely without damage to your property?

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Is Spotted Lanternfly treatment safe for pets and children?

All Spotted Lanternfly applications are safe for children & pets. Giroud recommends that no children or pets be allowed in the application area during or for an hour after the application is made. This ensures that the application dries and adheres to the target areas.

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What is Spotted Lanternfly?

Spotted Lanternfly is a leafhopper insect that feeds on trees, causes damage to properties, and attracts dangerous, stinging wasps.

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Where did Spotted Lanternfly come from?

Spotted Lanternfly was first discovered in the US in 2014 in Berks County, PA. It is thought that this insect was accidentally brought over to the US on shipping materials from Asia.

Does Spotted Lanternfly have any natural predators?

Since Spotted Lanternfly is not native to the United States, it has no known predators here to kill it and limit the population.

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Why is Spotted Lanternfly bad?

Spotted Lanternfly feeds in swarms and has a voracious appetite. Feeding in such large numbers damages trees. As it feeds, SLF shoots out sour smelling droppings called “honeydew.” The Honeydew can fall like rain and land on anything under the trees including cars, hardscapes, pools and play equipment. Additionally, these droppings turn into black, sooty mold that attracts stinging wasps, hornets and bees. To make the situation even worse, SLF multiplies rapidly. One adult female can lay up to 100 eggs. See Facts about Spotted Lanternfly for more information, Stinging Wasp Attracted to Sooty Mold Left by Spotted Lanternfly

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