1. Enter July and the Spotted Lanternflies

JULY 06 2022 / LANDSCAPE

Enter July and the Spotted Lanternflies

Spotted lanternflies may look pretty, but there is nothing glamorous about them. A relatively new invasive species to the U.S., they were first documented in 2014 in Pennslyvania; it is indigenous to parts of Asia. They pose a threat to agriculture throughout the areas they invade.

How to Spot a Spotted Lanternfly:

  • Their forewing is gray with black spots of varying sizes.
  • The wing tips have black spots outlined in gray.
  • Hind wings have contrasting patches of red and black with a white band.
  • Adults are present from July until December.

Photo credit: PA Department of Agriculture 


Identifying Egg Masses:

  • Light grayish splotches that look like mud smeared on almost any outdoor surface.
  • Masses of 30-50 eggs clustered in one place.
  • Spotted lanternflies freeze during winter, though their eggs are viable and can survive from late September until July.

Photo credit: PA Department of Agriculture 

Spotted Lanternfly Lifecycle:

Spotted lanternflies start out as small nymphs, as they grow their color changes from black to spotted red. Adult spotted lanternflies have a distinct wing pattern. 

Photo Credit: The University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources 

Dangers:
Spotted lanternflies cause damage to plants by excreting a sticky, slippery “honeydew” that creates mold, interferes with a plant's photosynthesis, and can stunt its growth and, ultimately, their harvest. Although they don’t fly, spotted lanternflies are great hitchhikers as they are known to cling onto traveling cars at 50 mph. They can be found hiding under car hoods, near windshield wipers, in the wheel wells of tires, and nestled under bumpers. It is important to check your vehicle for the insects and their eggs, and if possible, park away from trees where spotted lanternflies are known to be present with your windows closed.

Do not panic; spotted lanternflies will NOT sting or bite humans or animals. However, the honeydew substance they excrete attracts stinging insects, which can be dangerous for those with allergies. If you’ve spent any time in an area infested with spotted lanternflies, checking for egg masses, adult flies, and nymphs on your vehicle and any other items that may have transported the insect is essential.

Review the Spotted Lanternfly Spread Prevention Checklist via the New York State Integrated Pest Management for a complete list of potential harborages.

Get started with one of our Home Pest Prevention Programs and protect your property from spotted lanternflies and other invasive pests.
Call our pest experts at (833) 493-1873 to start today!