The PA Department of Agriculture (PDA) has declared the Spotted Lantern Fly (SLF) to be “dangerous and destructive to the agriculture, horticulture and forests of this Commonwealth and is hereby declared a public nuisance.” On May 26, 2018 the PDA placed all of Bucks County under an updated quarantine order to stop new infestations and slow the spread of the Lantern fly.
Spotted Lantern Fly feeds by sucking sap which stresses the tree and can leave it vulnerable to attack by other insects. The SLF also excretes large amounts of sticky ‘honeydew” that causes mold to grow on the tree and can attract swarms of other insects that, in areas of large populations, can affect outside activities.
The SLF will feed on a variety of trees, however, all life stages of the SLF prefer feeding on its favorite host, the Tree of Heaven (Ailanthus altissima). The Tree of Heaven is an invasive native of China and looks similar to Sumac. It is highly recommended that homeowners eradicate these trees from their property. The following links provides assistance in identifying the Tree of Heaven and management guidance for homeowners.
The Spotted Lantern Fly completes one life cycle per year. Nymphs begin to emerge in late April.
The following are additional steps you can take to help control and eradicate SLF
- Report sightings of SLF to: online at https://extension.psu.edu/spottedlanternfly or call 1-888-4BAD-FL
- Trap Spotted Lanternfly nymphs and adults on a tree by banding it with sticky tape
- Before leaving any area that is known to have Spotted Lanternfly, you should check your vehicle to make sure you aren’t taking any to your next location.
- Destroy SLF in any of its stages
- Remove egg masses by scraping with card, knife, or stick. Scrape into a bag or container with rubbing alcohol or hand sanitizer
Sources and more information:
https://extension.psu.edu/spotted-lanternfly info on quarantined Counties, management for homeowners including how to remove eggs, tree banding and much more
https://ag.umass.edu/landscape/fact-sheets/spotted-lanternfly – provides a good list of trees preferred by the Lantern fly.
For businesses, agencies, and organizations, a Spotted Lanternfly permit is required for those located or working within the quarantine, who move vehicles, products or other conveyances within or out of the quarantine.