If you are unfamiliar with the spotted lanternfly, Lycorma delicatula (White) (Hemiptera: Fulgoridae), it’s a good idea to get acquainted with this sap-feeding insect before it’s too late. Your trees and produce may already be at risk.
Spotted lanternfly background
First spotted in the United States in 2014, the invasive pest was originally discovered in Pennsylvania and has since spread rapidly. It is known to feed on vines, shrubs, fruit trees, hardwoods, grapevines, and over 70 other species of trees. Infestations are often accidental but can occur seemingly overnight when eggs are transported by landscapers or homeowners doing yardwork. Egg masses and other life stages can also be found on a variety of other outdoor items including vehicles, patio furniture, swing sets, and more. For that reason, it’s very easy for them to spread quickly when humans move anything bearing the eggs.
So, how do you spot an infestation of the spotted lanternfly? The following can help as you check for egg masses on trees and items stored outside.
Identification & Life Cycle
If you hear of an infestation in your area, it’s a good idea to look for eggs all over your property. They can be anywhere – not just on trees. The spotted lanternfly has one generation every year. Adult females lay eggs in September and continue until early December. Early detection is key as the eggs can survive the winter months and hatch in early spring.
Resembling mud, the pod-like egg masses are usually gray or off-white and will crack and darken over time.
The eggs hatch in the spring and the nymphs immediately begin feeding. They are recognized as small black nymphs with white spots.
The spotted lanternfly completes four life stages, also known as instars, before maturing into adults. The first three instar nymphs are black with white markings while the fourth instar nymphs are reddish-orange with white markings.
Mostly seen in late summer and fall, adult nymphs have wings and are about an inch long and a half inch wide. They have gray forewings with black spots and hindwings that can be red, white and black striped.
Tree-Banding for the spotted lanternfly
If you are concerned about populations of the spotted lanternfly in your area, consider working with a pest professional who can perform tree-banding. Tree-banding creates a physical barrier on tree trunks that consist of a wrap and glue. The process allows homeowners to monitor trees proactively for the spotted lanternfly. Click here to learn more.
Learn more from Penn State University here: https://extension.psu.edu/spotted-lanternfly-management-for-homeowners
Learn more about tree-banding with our Catchmaster® TB-1 glue here: https://catchmasterpro.com/product/tree-banding-glue/
Bobby Kossowicz is a content creator for the Catchmaster® brand, learn more here: https://catchmasterpro.com/blog/bobby-kossowicz/