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Spotted Lanternfly
Top view of spotted lanternfly, Chester County, Pennsylvania

Last year, the Lehigh Valley fell under siege. The culprit? The spotted lanternfly.

Despite being native to Asia, spotted lanternflies were popping up across the United States infesting cities and killing and destroyed plants.

Homeowners were warned to be on the lookout for signs of the pest or any damage they may have caused this winter season. People are concerned that their plants and landscapes could be affected by the spotted lanternfly again this year.

The spotted lanternfly is attracted to plants including most fruit trees, tree of heaven, and pine trees. They pierce the trees to feed on the sap, which can kill the plants. There are no known predators that could keep their population at bay, which is what makes them so invasive.

To combat the invasive insect, homeowners should start checking their trees. The spotted lanternfly lays eggs in masses, so it is important to check trees, especially as we move out of the winter months and into spring. Homeowners should follow the following steps to make sure your property is infestation-free:

  • Check your trees, especially on the trunk of the tree for egg masses. Lanternflies will also lay eggs on other solid surfaces, to check your rocks, outdoor furniture and fences.  Egg masses will be laid neatly in rows with a waxy substance over top of them. Eventually, the wax will crack. The masses will look like the bark on the tree, but there may be a discrepancy in color.
  • If you notice a spotted lanternfly egg mass on your property, scrape the mass off of the tree and into a container and add rubbing alcohol. This will kill the mass and prevent infestation of your plants. If you don’t have rubbing alcohol on hand, hand sanitizer will do just fine.
  • If you believe that your property is infested with the spotted lanternfly, it is important for you to report it to the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture or by calling the Invasive Species Hotline at 866-253-7189.

2018 marked a devastating year for landscapes across the country due to the infestation of the spotted lanternfly, and we don’t want to have 2019 to follow in the same devastation. March is the perfect time to start protecting your landscape from egg masses, especially if you are planning on implementing a new design come spring. If you are planning on new planting this spring, schedule a consultation with Western Lehigh today!