How to Get Rid of Spotted Lanternfly
The spotted lanternfly (Lycorma delicatula) is an invasive species that has been causing damage to plants and trees across the United States. This pest is capable of causing significant economic losses by feeding on important agricultural crops such as grapes, apples, and hops. If you’re a homeowner or a farmer, it is essential to be aware of the spotted lanternfly problem and know how to get rid of it effectively. In this article, we detail various ways to identify, prevent, and eradicated spotted lanternfly.
Identifying Spotted Lanternfly
The spotted lanternfly is an Asian insect that first appeared in the United States in 2014. It is a planthopper insect that feeds on trees and plants by piercing the bark and sucking sap from the plant tissues. These insects have distinctive, colorful wings that are red, black, and white. They grow up to one inch long and half an inch wide. If you are not sure whether you have spotted lanternflies on your property, you can check for egg masses, which are usually laid in September and October. They appear as grayish-brown or mud-like in color and have a hard, shiny covering. They can be found on branches, trunks, or other rough surfaces.
It is essential to identify and eliminate spotted lanternflies before they become a significant infestation. You can start by inspecting your property regularly. By doing so, you will be able to spot them early, which will help you contain the infestation before it gets worse.
Creating Sticky Bands
Creating sticky bands is one way to get rid of spotted lanternflies. These bands act as a barrier to prevent the insects from crawling up trees and plants. You can purchase sticky bands from your local hardware stores or make them at home. To create a sticky trap, you need to wrap a band of duct tape or sticky tape tightly around the trunk of the tree, leaving no gaps or openings. You can also use scrapers or putty knives to remove any debris or dirt from the tree’s trunk before setting up the sticky bands.
It is essential to replace the sticky bands regularly, inspect them for insects, and dispose of them safely. You can put them in a plastic bag and throw them away or burn them. Keep in mind that sticky bands can also trap beneficial insects, so it is crucial to use them only when necessary.
Removing Egg Masses
Removing egg masses is another effective way to prevent spotted lanternflies from infesting your property. You can find these masses on trees, plants, and other surfaces. To remove them, you can scrape them off using a plastic card or putty knife into a container of rubbing alcohol or hand sanitizer. It is essential to wear gloves and long sleeves when removing these egg masses since they contain a sticky, messy substance that can cause skin irritation.
After you have collected the egg masses, you can dispose of them safely by putting them in a plastic bag and throwing them away. You can also put them in a sealed container and freeze them overnight, which will kill the insects.
Chemical sprays are another effective way to get rid of the spotted lanternfly. The most commonly used insecticides for these insects are neonicotinoids, which are absorbed by plants and work as a systemic insecticide. These chemicals kill the insects by disrupting their nervous system, causing paralysis and death. Before using any insecticide, it is essential to read and follow the instructions carefully.
It is also essential to use protective gear when applying chemical sprays, including gloves, goggles, and respirators. Keep in mind that these insecticides are toxic to humans and animals, so it is crucial to use them carefully and only when necessary. If you have pets or young children, it is essential to keep them away from areas where you have used insecticides.
Beneficial insects are insects that eat other harmful insects and can help control the spotted lanternfly population. To attract beneficial insects to your property, you can plant flowering herbs and native plants that provide nectar and pollen. Some of the beneficial insects that are effective in controlling spotted lanternflies include the praying mantis, ladybugs, and lacewings.
It is essential to create a conducive habitat for these insects by providing them with food, shelter, and water. You can also avoid using pesticides that kill beneficial insects, which can negatively affect the environment.
Cleaning the surrounding areas is essential in controlling the spotted lanternfly population. You can start by raking and bagging leaves, fruit, and other debris that allow the insects to establish habitats around your property. Dead insects and egg masses should also be removed from surfaces like walls, decks, and patios. They can be scraped off and put into a sealed bag and disposed of in the trash. Keeping the yard clean is one way of preventing the spread of this insect.
Professional Pest Control
If you have tried all the above-mentioned methods and still have a significant infestation on your property, it may be time to seek professional help. Professional pest control companies can help you assess the extent of the infestation and recommend the most effective and safe way to get rid of them. They also use advanced methods of removing spotted lanternflies, including insecticides and biological control methods.
It is essential to choose a reputable pest control company with licensed and experienced technicians. They should also offer guarantees and warranties on their work and follow up with you after the treatment to ensure that the problem has been solved.
Getting rid of spotted lanternflies can be challenging, but it is essential to control their spread to prevent damage to agricultural crops. By identifying the insects early and implementing the necessary control measures, you can effectively control and eliminate the infestation. Remember always to wear protective gear when using insecticides or removing egg masses and dispose of them safely. A clean yard, the use of beneficial insects, and the installation of sticky bands can help control and eradicate spotted lanternflies. Homeowners and the community’s efforts are essential in controlling the spread of the spotted lanternfly population.