Every spring we take up arms against pests trying to either destroy our garden or invade our homes. But recently there have been reports of a new pest, a pest poised to cause considerable damage to trees and crops on the east coast. The spotted lanternfly.
What The Heck Is A Lanternfly?
If you’ve never heard of the spotted lanternfly, it’s because it’s an invasive species native to China and was first reported in the U.S. in 2014 in Pennsylvania.
In late October of this year, a spotted lanternfly was discovered in a trap in Cecil County, making it the first confirmed sighting in the Old Line State.
Unlike other invasive insects, the lanternfly travels in hordes. So if you see one, there will probably be hundreds or even thousands.
What Kind Of Harm Can Lanternflies Cause?
If swarms of insects don’t disturb you, then listen to this. Lanternflies feed on the sap of trees and can cover an entire tree from top to bottom.
Imagine stepping out onto your back porch and seeing your trees covered in moving, wriggling insects sucking the life out of your trees.
Lanternflies feeding habits not only affect the plant’s photosynthesis but as they feed they create a liquid called honeydew. This liquid can attract ants, wasps, and other disease-carrying insects that can harm your trees.
But the lanternfly doesn’t just feed on trees. They attack crops they also suck on over 70 different types of plants and crops including oak, pine, grapes, hops, apples, peaches.
Lanternflies are predicted to hit the agricultural industry in the eastern U.S. hard if they are not controlled, especially orchards and vineyards.
How To Control Them
Adult lanternflies lay their eggs in the fall, in large quantities on trees or anything with a smooth surface. The egg clump resembles dry mud and if you see them remove them immediately and destroy them in alcohol.