You probably know that the spotted lanternfly is a threat to agriculture in Lebanon County, but do you know how this ‘bad bug’ got here? Read our ten things to know about the spotted lanternfly below.
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The spotted lantern fly is coming to Lebanon County. Are you ready?
Where did it come from?
It is native to China, India and Vietnam.
Where was it first discovered in the U.S.?
It was discovered in eastern Berks County in 2014 and has since spread throughout southeastern Pennsylvania.
How did it get here?
According to the Reading Eagle, it believed to have arrived in a shipment of landscaping stone from Asia.
Is it a threat?
Yes. SLF is a threat to Pennsylvania’s $18 billion grape, tree-fruit, hardwood and nursery industries.
How do I know if I have them on my property?
The spotted lanternfly attacks fruit trees by using its piercing-sucking mouthparts to feed on the sap in trunks, branches, twigs and leaves. These oozing wounds leave a greyish or black trail along the bark of the plant. As it digests the sap, the insect excretes a substance that can promote the growth of harmful fungi, such as sooty mold, which stunt growth. Heavily infested plants may not survive.
How can it be stopped?
The state Department of Agriculture has issued a quarantine on the movement of plants, plant-based materials and outdoor household items out of the quarantine area in the following counties: Berks, Bucks, Carbon, Chester, Dauphin, Delaware, Lancaster, Lebanon, Lehigh, Monroe, Montgomery, Northampton, Philadelphia and Schuylkill.
Does SLF have any natural enemies?
Yes, spiders and praying mantis.
What can I do?
Property owners can choose to remove and/or treat the Ailanthus (tree-of-heaven) trees on their properties, which attract the insects. In fall and winter, scrape egg masses from plants and trees and destroy them. In spring, banding highly infested trees with sticky tape will trap the nymphs crawling up the trees to feed. Insecticide is also effective on nymphs and adults.
Does it sting?
How can I help?
Report any sightings of spotted lanternfly to the Penn State Extension by using their online reporting tool, or by calling 1-888-4BAD-FLY. Take care not to give any SLF a free ride outside the quarantine area. Tell you neighbors about SLF.