The Spotted Lanternfly and Christmas Trees

Should You Heed the Warnings and Opt for An Artificial Christmas Tree This Year?

There is nothing like the scent and look of a real Christmas tree.  This year, however, one pest threatens to dampen the tradition.  The spotted lanternfly is being a true grinch.  These tree-gobbling pests have led some to wonder about the threat of mixing the spotted lanternfly and Christmas trees.  Could it be possible that trees will bring this pest indoors?

The Spotted Lanternfly & Christmas Trees – A Background

The spotted lanternfly is an invasive pest that poses a significant threat to our agriculture.  Crops threatened  include grapes, apples and hops.  In addition, the pest can cause significant damage to a wide variety of tree species.

Spotted Lanternfly and Christmas Trees - Map

The Spotted Lanternfly has spread throughout much of the northeastern part of the United States. Homeowners are on alert, following advice to squish the pest when they see them and reporting them to the Department of Agriculture to help track their spread. With this in mind and Christmas season quickly approaching some news reports are warning consumers to steer clear of real trees this year.

But, do spotted lanternfly typically infest Christmas tree varieties? According to Penn State Extension experts, the good news for live tree fans is that “Christmas trees are not a preferred host for spotted lanternfly”.

Many experts agree that while they do not typically infest this type of tree it is always a good idea to inspect a live tree for pests before bringing it into your home. Our blog on ‘How to spot a spotted lanternfly infestation’ can help you to understand what to look for when inspecting a tree.

Spotted Lanternfly and Christmas Trees - Infestation

To be extra cautious you may inquire as to where the live tree originated from. According to the New Jersey Christmas Tree Growers Association, Christmas trees grown in New Jersey are completely safe to buy according to one NJ.com report.  Doing research prior to purchasing and inquiring from sellers about where the tree was grown certainly cannot hurt.

So, go ahead and bring that live tree home this year. We hope the tips above help ensure your holiday remains pest-free and enjoyable.

Additional Resources

Looking for help with the spotted lanternfly?  Consider tree-banding with our TB series glue: https://catchmasterpro.com/product/tree-banding-glue/

Are you a PMP looking to get into the spotted lanternfly business?  Here are some helpful hints on getting started: https://catchmasterpro.com/blog/spotted-lanternfly-control-services-101/

Learn more from Penn State University here: https://extension.psu.edu/spotted-lanternfly-management-for-homeowners

Bobby Kossowicz is a content creator for the Catchmaster® brand, learn more here: https://catchmasterpro.com/blog/bobby-kossowicz/