The Invasive Spotted Lanternfly

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The Invasive Spotted Lanternfly
The Invasive Spotted Lanternfly

The Spotted Lanternfly (SLF) has begun to spread in more areas of NJ which is cause for concern of over 70 different plant species, including fruit trees, ornamental trees, woody trees, vegetables, herbs and vines. Originating from Asia and found in countries ranging from China, Korea, and Vietnam to India, it is believed the SLF made its way accidentally to Pennsylvania.

SLF are classified as planthoppers and feed by piercing plant cells and sucking out the contents. The amount of damage they can do this way depends on the plant. The loss of sap from stems and leaves, which reduces photosynthesis, and release of large amounts of fluid from the plants promotes mold growth.  The Tree of Heaven is the preferred host for SLF, preemptively removing all of these trees on your property can significantly cut down on the number of pests. Tree of Heaven can reach 100 feet tall and must be treated with herbicide before being cut down.

If you spot a SLF, it is best to kill them.  They are an invasive species and can wreak havoc with the agricultural community, and they can destroy crops en mass. If you see egg masses, scrape them off, double bag them and throw them away. You can also place the eggs into alcohol, bleach or hand sanitizer to kill them.

The Spotted Lanternfly adult is approximately 1 inch long and a half- inch wide at rest. The forewing is grey with black spots and the wings tips are reticulated black blocks outlined in gray. The hind wings have contrasting patches of red and black with a white band. The legs and head are black; the abdomen is yellow with broad black bands. Immature stages are black with white spots and develop red patches as they grow.

Have you seen a Spotted Lanternfly? Let’s check!

Egg Masses: September – May

Nymphs: April – October

Adults: July – November

Special treatments may need to be applied in order to fully eviscerate the problem. Dealing with insects requires extensive experience and knowledge of how lawn pests work. Best Turf Care is the number one insect control service in Monmouth, Middlesex, and Ocean counties. We’ll help you weed out any potential pests and design a control program specifically for your lawn’s unique needs.