Reminder USA

Spot the Spotted Lanternfly? Crush It!

DEERFIELD TWP. — For many, this spring was their first encounter with the spotted lanternfly, an invasive insect pest.
Beginning in April the spotted lanternfly nymphs began to hatch from egg masses that overwintered outside on hard surfaces like trees, buildings, and patio furniture. The early nymphs are black with white spots and undergo three stages where they grow from one-eighth inch to one-quarter inch long, according to Lauren Fordyce, home horticulture educator, Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Cumberland County
Then, at the beginning of July, the spotted lanternfly begins showing its true colors, which are red, with white and black spotting and are about a half-inch long. Soon, the winged adults will emerge. Females can lay egg masses from September through November and then die. Masses contain up to 50 eggs and persist over winter, and the cycle begins again.
While the spotted lanternfly has the potential to damage certain trees and crops, it is primarily a nuisance pest in the landscape. The spotted lanternfly is a sap-sucking planthopper, with nymphs feeding on tender plants (new growth, weeds, flowers) and adults feeding on the sap of woodier plants (trees and vines). In most cases, it will not cause severe damage or death of landscape plants. This has only been reported where large infestations occurred on tree-of-heaven, black walnut saplings, and grapevines. These plants, along with maples, willows, birches, sumac, and roses, are favored by the pest, according to Fordyce. Fordyce recommends monitoring the property should it feature any of these plants.
“If you see spotted lanternfly nymphs or adults, you should try to stomp or squish them,” Fordyce said. “They will not bite or sting, but do hop and glide. Nymphs or adults can be controlled on favored trees (tree of heaven, maples, willows, birches, black walnut) by using sticky band traps with a wildlife barrier, and circle traps.
“Egg masses should be scraped into a container with alcohol. If egg masses are scraped off onto the ground, they will still hatch.”
For more information visit the Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Cumberland County located at 291 Morton Ave. call the Lawn and Garden Helpline at 451-2800 ext. 4.

Spotted lanternfly
life cycle.