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How to Control Spotted Lanternfly

Controlling Spotted Lanternfly (SLF) requires action by you and a professional tree service like Giroud.

DIY Actions for Homeowners

Here are the most important steps to take: 

  1. Walk Your Property: Be vigilant and look for SLF on your property.
Sticky bands on trees to combat spotted lanternfly
Sticky bands are wrapped around this tree to catch Spotted Lanternfly Nymphs as they crawl up the trunk. Penn State recommends wrapping the sticky bands in chicken wire to prevent birds and other small animals from becoming trapped.
  • Trap Nymphs from May-July:
    • Wrap high risk trees with sticky bands.
    • Avoid Accidentally Trapping Small Animals and Birds! Penn State recommends cutting sticky bands in half lengthwise.  For additional protection, wrap chicken wire over the sticky band.
    • Change bands every two weeks.
    • Where to Buy: Sticky bands can be found at most hardware stores and also on Amazon.com.
    1. Find and Destroy Egg Masses from September-May:  Stop future generations!  One female can lay up to 100 eggs on just about any smooth surface.  Scrape egg masses into a bag that contains rubbing alcohol or hand sanitizer.  Learn more about how to destroy Spotted Lanternfly Egg Masses.
    3. Check your property for Trees of Heaven.  These trees are a magnet for Spotted Lanternfly and must be removed.
    4. Don’t move outdoor items: Check for egg masses before transporting items such as furniture, stones or firewood to new locations.

    When to Hire a Professional

    If you see only a few adult Spotted Lanternfly, you can easily squash and kill them yourself.  However, these insects usually attack trees in swarms. That’s when you need professional help.

    Spotted Lanternfly Control Treatment
    Giroud Plant Healthcare Manager, Rodney Stahl, applies a spray treatment to this tree to control Spotted Lanternfly.

    Giroud’s Spotted Lanternfly Control Program

    Giroud’s Spotted Lanternfly Control Program is based on the latest research from Penn State, the PA Department of Agriculture and the USDA.  It includes treatments to kill the pest on contact and control emerging pests.  Additionally, Giroud will inspect your property for Trees of Heaven and remove them.

    Here’s how Giroud controls Spotted Lanternfly:

    1. Identify High Risk Trees: Since SLF feeds on so many species of trees, Giroud recommends protecting only the high-risk trees that are most valuable to your landscape
    2. Timing and TreatmentChemical control is most effective in the adult stage which typically spans July through November.  Research rated Dinotefuran and Bifenthrin as the best treatments for killing SLF.
    • Dinotefuran: Applied as a Basal Trunk Spray from July through September.  It kills SLF both on-contact and systemically.  For a few weeks after treatment, SLF are killed on contact or when they crawl on treated surfaces.  After the insecticide is absorbed through the tree’s vascular system, SLF are killed when they feed on the tree.  Treatment remains in the tree for up to 60 days.
    • Bifenthrin: Sprayed on trees with SLF from September through November (pictured).  This treatment kills SLF on contact and when SLF walk over surfaces with the residue on it.
    1. Number of Treatments Required: For the best protection, a systemic treatment is recommended early in the adult stage which starts in July.  Then, a systemic or contact treatment is applied in Fall.This approach targets adult SLF when pressure is most intense and hard to control. The exact number of treatments will depend on the timing for the Adult stage each season and the point in the season when your first application is completed.
    2. Fertilization: SLF are intense feeders that suck the sap from trees.  Fertilizing infested trees promotes healing and builds strength.
    3. Remove Tree of Heaven: While SLF attacks many of trees found in your yard, Tree of Heaven (Ailanthus) is the favorite host tree.  It’s like a magnet. Any Tree of Heaven on or near your property will attract SLF.   That’s why, this tree must be destroyed.  Our Tree Care team is trained to handle the Tree of Heaven.  It’s not simple.  Tree of Heaven spreads fast.  The tree must be treated with an herbicide to kill it.  Then, if desired, the tree and stump can be removed.

    Take Action

    The first step is to find out if you have a Spotted Lanternfly problem.  Your Giroud ISA Certified Arborist will inspect your property, identify high risk trees and determine the best steps for control.

    Get a Free Evaluation Today!

    Time needed: 3 hours.

    How to Control Spotted Lanternfly in 5 Steps

    1. Inspect your yard for signs of Spotted Lanternfly: Year-round

      Be vigilant. Know what Spotted Lanternfly looks like. Survey your property at every stage of development. Stop the spread. Check for egg masses before transporting outdoor items to new locations.Life Cycle of Spotted Lanternfly

    2. Trap Nymphs: May-July

      Sticky bands on trees to trap spotted lanternfly nymphs. These bands are too wide. Bands should be cut in half to avoid accidentally trapping small animals and birds.
      Wrap sticky bands around high risk trees. Cut the bands in half to avoid accidentally trapping small animals and birds. Photo shows what happens when bands are too wide. Change the bands every 2 weeks

    3. Kill Spotted Lanternfly in the Adult Stage: July-November

      Whenever you see Spotted Lanternfly, squash and kill them yourself. For large infestations, chemical control is needed. Trees need to be treated with systemic and/or topical sprays that kill on contact and provide long lasting residual control.Spotted Lanternfly Attack Trees in Swarms

    4. Destroy Egg Masses: September-May

      Find egg masses and destroy them. Check trees, understory plants and even under and sides of walls, card, outdoor grills and lawn furniture. Scrape egg masses into a bag that contains rubbing alcohol or hand sanitizer. To learn how, check out Giroud’s post and instructional video on what to look for and how to remove and destroy Spotted Lanternfly Egg Masses.Scraping Egg Masses off of trees to destroy Spotted Lanterfly

    5. Remove Tree of Heaven: Year-round

      Check your property for Tree of Heaven (Ailanthus). It’s a magnet for Spotted Lanternfly. A fast spreader, the tree must be treated with a herbicide to kill it. Once dead, the tree and stump can be removed.Tree of Heaven Is Favorite Host for Spotted Lanternfly