Spotted Lanternfly (SLF) is a destructive pest. Worse yet, it’s spreading quickly. There’s a lot at risk. PA’s orchards, vineyards, and nurseries are in danger. Plus, SLF threatens the trees in your own yard.
What is the best way to control this pest? Giroud has been working closely with Penn State, the PA Department of Agriculture and the USDA to determine the best treatments and timing for control.
Based on the latest research, Giroud’s SLF Program is a combination of targeted treatments and Tree of Heaven removal.
Giroud’s Spotted Lanternfly Control Program
High Risk Trees: SLF feed on an incredible variety of trees. Therefore, Giroud recommends protecting only high-risk trees that are most valuable to your landscape.
Timing and Treatments: SLF is most vulnerable to chemical control in the Adult stage. This stage lasts from July through November. For control, researchers tested numerous treatments.
Dinotefuran and Bifenthrin yielded the best results. Both treatments kill on contact and have staying power.
Number of Treatments Required: The exact number of treatments depends on when the Adults emerge and your first application is completed. For the best protection, a systemic treatment is recommended in July at the typical beginning of the adult stage. Then, a systemic or contact treatment is needed again in Fall. This approach targets adult SLF when pressure is most intense and hard to control.
Fertilization: Fertilizing trees is also important to promote healing and build strength.
Remove Tree of Heaven: If there are any Tree of Heaven on or near your property, they will attract SLF. Giroud has the special PA permit required to destroy these trees. To kill it, the tree must be treated with an herbicide. Then, if desired, the tree and stump can be removed.
Spotted Lanternfly is a beautiful pest. But, don’t let looks fool you. It’s is destructive, dirty, and multiplies quickly.
Identifying the Pest
You need to be a real detective to identify this insect. That’s because it goes through several changes in appearance during its lifecycle.
The Spotted Lanternfly Life Cycle is 3 Main Stages
Spotted Lanternfly Nymphs emerge from their eggs as small back bugs with white spots. Eventually, they will shed layers and becoe red with white and black spots.
SLF is most vulnerable to chemical control at this stage. As adults, wings develop and are the insect’s true tell-tale. With wings open, the underside shows bright red on patterns of black, white, and beige. An adult at rest, however, looks very different and muted in color with its wings folded down.
Egg Masses: September-November
Adult females lay rows of eggs on tree trunks or any flat surface, typically on the underside where they will be safe from predators. She coats her eggs in a secretion that hardens and looks like gray clay. This provides a protective cover through the winter.
The following trees are at highest risk for attack by Spotted Lanternfly: Maples (especially Red and Silver), Willows, Walnuts, Japanese Snowbells, Birch, Locust, Grapevines and several varieties of fruit trees.* With SLF drawn to such a massive variety of trees, Giroud recommends protecting only high-risk trees that are most valuable to your landscape.
Tree of Heaven (Ailanthus), an invasive weedy tree from China, is a favorite host for Spotted Lanternfly. Ailanthus attracts SLF like a magnet and should be destroyed if it is on or near your property.
*The list of trees that SLF attack is based on Giroud’s experience managing this pest and lists compiled by the USDA and Penn State.