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What You Need to Know About the Invasive Spotted Lantern-fly:
As of August 2017, the spotted lanternfly had been positively identified in many areas of Berks, Bucks, Chester, Lehigh, and Montgomery counties in Eastern Pennsylvania.
Adults (summer through frost) are inconspicuous spotted, brownish-grey plant hoppers about 1” to 1 ¼” long. In flight they show off their bright orange-red and white underwings.
In fall, starting in September, females lay masses of 30-50 tiny eggs on tree trunks, rocks, picnic tables, and pretty much any solid object they can find.
In spring, those eggs hatch into tiny, black and white, non-flying feeding- machines called nymphs. As they feed, the insects excrete a sticky substance called honeydew, which is rapidly colonized by sooty mold, turning leaves, stems, and trunks black. This honey dew attracts ants, wasps, and other insects that feed on the sweet substance. Feeding can cause localized damage, stunted growth, reducedyields, or even death of an entire plant.
In the spring and summer, insecticides are the recommended modes of action, to prevent the spottedlanternfly from devastating plant material. A registered insecticide should be applied by a professional licensed technician, according to label directions,before damage occurs. Repeat applications may be needed, as traveling adult lanternflies can cover a large area and spread eggs all over, depending on the severity of the spotted lanternflyinfestation and the damage that has occurred.
We here at Bair’s Tree & Lawn Service do offer an all-encompassing Tree and Shrub Care Program,that does include applications that target the spotted lanternfly, along with other applications that target tree and shrub damaging insects, and much more.