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How to Get Rid of Spotted Lanternfly?

How to Get Rid of Spotted Lanternfly?

This invasive & destructive insect is bad news for trees and other plants; that’s why we’ll tell you how to get rid of the spotted lanternfly. You will find 5 steps to help control & prevent the spread of this plague and 4 DIY tips to kill them.       

Spotted Lanternfly Life Cycle

Spotted Lanternfly Life Cycle/Nymphs

They simulate being a moth when it jumps or flies, but it is neither a fly nor a moth. It is a type of planthopper that belongs to the order Hemiptera (within groups such as the cicadas, leafhoppers, and aphids).

The adults prefer to feed primarily on the tree of heaven, while the immature nymphs will prey on a wide range of trees, fruits, and grape vines.

Nymphs do the most damage and feed on several different host plants, including grape vines, pine, and fruit trees, which pose a significant threat to the fruit, wine, logging, and even the Christmas tree industries in the U.S.

Understanding their life cycle will help you control and prevent problems successfully.

The eggs hatch in late spring, usually between late April and May.

The nymphs practice a repeated cycle of going up and down trees. They climb the trees to feed, and in mid-summer, around July, the larvae will develop.

The adults will mate, and the females will lay eggs in late summer through early fall. The next generation overwinters as eggs while the adults die in late fall.

Why Are Spotted Lanternfly Bad?

This invasive pest leaves a sticky residue known as honeydew that attracts more insects, creating destructive sooty mold and causing staining.

But, here you have more bad news: using pesticides against them indiscriminately will harm beneficial insects, fish, birds, mammals, and even our pets and ourselves if not properly applied.

4 Spotted Lanternfly Damage

Spotted Lanternfly Damage / Oozing sap

They cause serious damage, including:

  1. Oozing sap
  2. Wilting
  3. Leaf Curling
  4. Gradual deterioration of tree’s health

They are destructive, invasive species harmful to fruit and produce crops that spread like wildfire. This insect is not dangerous to humans or pets. But you should take them seriously and proactively manage to reduce their negative impact on your dear trees!

Which Trees Do They Harm? 7 Preferred Plants by Spotted Lanternfly

Trees Do Spotted Lanternfly Harm: Tree of Heaven

Spotted lanternflies will feed on various host plants from May through November, and their feeding preferences change as they mature. Nymphs will feed on a wide range of host plants, while the adults target only a few species.

There are over 65 known species of plants that they will feed on, including ornamental trees (like lilac and dogwood), fruit trees, vines (like grapes), small fruits (such as blueberries), hops, and several vegetables.

Spotted Lanternflies Feed on:

  1. Tree of Heaven
  2. Willow
  3. Maple
  4. Prunus (including plums, cherries, peaches, nectarines, and apricots)
  5. Apple
  6. Pine
  7. Grape Vines

5 Steps to Take Control of this Destructive & Invasive Pest

1. Stop the Spread of Spotted Lanternfly with Predators

Check any outdoor items for egg masses before moving them, including vehicles, firewood, outdoor furniture, picnic tables, boats, and children’s toys.

6 Predators of the Spotted Lanternfly 

  • Praying Mantises
  • Chickens
  • Yellow Garden Spiders
  • Gray Catbirds
  • Yellowjackets
  • Wheel Bugs
Take Control of Spotted Lanternfly with Predators: Praying Mantises

2. Crape Off the Spotted Lanternfly Eggs

From late September through May, be on the lookout for egg masses. Remove the eggs using a knife or a thin plastic card, and place them directly into hand sanitizer or alcohol to kill them.

3. Homemade Spray to Kill Lanternflies Nymphs

Take Control of Spotted Lanternfly: Homemade Spray

You can use a homemade spray by mixing equal amounts of dish soap and water in a spray bottle. You can spray this mixture to destroy the larvae.

4. Control the Spotted Lanternfly Adults Using Traps

An effective trap is to place adhesive strips around the tree trunk.

5. Remove Tree of Heaven

You need to cut down this tree since these pests love to feed on them. It will prevent the insect from damaging other plants in your green area. Before removing the tree of heaven, consult your liability and the legality by clicking The Department of Natural Resources in Wisconsin.

How to Kill Lanternflies: Consider these 4 DIY Natural Ways

1. Vinegar

Dilute apple cider or white household vinegar and spray it directly onto nymphs and adults.

2. Vacuum Them

Another easy and inexpensive natural way of ridding the property of these unwanted insects is to vacuum the nymphs up and dispose of them quickly.

3. Milkweed Bait

Kill Lanternflies with DIY Natural Ways: Milkweed Baitm

Milkweed is a wildflower that attracts this insect. They feed on the sap, which later poisons and kills them.

Those that don’t die immediately will be slowed down. As a result, spotted lanternflies will be vulnerable to predators, or you can pick them off and crush them.

4. Neem Oil

Milkweed is a wildflower that attracts this insect. They feed on the sap, which later poisons and kills them.

Neem oil, a natural fungicide and pesticide derived from the seeds of the Neem tree, becomes active when lantern bugs and other insects ingest the substance. You can make a DIY solution.

However, neem oil does not kill spotted lanternfly nymphs or adults immediately, as the process takes time to inhibit the eating abilities of the pests. They will be unable to feed and eventually will die.

Our Final Words

This insect, native to China, is an invasive and destructive specie that damages trees and other plants. They also create harmful sooty mold and cause staining on stems, leaves, and nodes.

Its appearance is like a moth, but it is a planthopper.

The adults prefer to feed primarily on the tree of heaven.

There are over 65 known species of plants that they will feed on, but they have eight preferred plants to devour.

You can place predators, remove the eggs, spray DIY solutions to destroy the larvae, use traps, cut down their favorite trees and apply the natural ways to get rid of spotted lanternflies.

I hope you loved our article, and if you found it helpful, share this piece of content on your social media. Stay tuned, take care, and till next time!