Welcome to the fifth edition of ‘Captain Stan’s Creature Features,’ where we are looking at some of the more interesting animals in the pest management universe. This month, we take a closer look at the dreaded Spotted Lanternfly (Lycorma delicatula), Insect Order: Hemiptera (“Half-winged”). Here are some fun and useful facts:
- The adult spotted lanternfly (SLF) is about an inch long and ½ inch wide. They are typically weak fliers.
- The preferred food is the ‘Tree of Heaven.’ When feeding, SLFs suck in sap and then excrete honeydew, which can attract other insects and cause mold to grow on the plants.
- The SLF is native to China, India, and Viet Nam. It is an invasive species in the United States, first detected in Pennsylvania in September 2014.
- SLF adults and nymphs can be trapped on a tree by banding the tree with a sticky trap.
- A SLF egg mass can produce 30-50 individuals. Egg masses may be laid on cars so if you are in a SLF area, inspect your car and remove any egg masses by scraping them off and disposing of them.