At first glance, the multi-colored dotted wings look like a natural gift akin to a butterfly variety. However, once you learn about the spotted lanternfly, you’ll realize that despite its pleasant appearance, its presence isn’t welcome or appreciated on your property.
Originating from Southeast Asia, the spotted lanternfly is an invasive species that can cause significant damage to plant and tree life. The Spotted lanternfly utilizes its straw/dagger-like mouth to pierce the bark, to then suck out and feed on a tree’s sap.
In the aftermath of its feast, the spotted lanternfly will excrete honeydew, a sugar-water-like substance known as honeydew. The tree will also expel liquid from its damaged or wounded areas. These substances will draw other insects and perpetuate the growth of sooty-like black mold, both of which can damage the tree.
So the next question is which trees are these insects attracted to, and what can we do to prevent an infestation?
While the Tree of Heaven is considered the spotted lanternfly’s primary host, it can also use:
✅ Black Walnut
✅ River Birch
✅ Red or Silver Maple
The key to preventing an infestation is catching the eggs laid in fall and spring before they hatch. Subsequently scrapping them off the trunk and disposing of them via hand sanitizer or rubbing alcohol, or in other stages using trees or insecticides.
Finally, in unfortunate circumstances, the best or required action may be to remove the host tree.
If you’ve encountered spotted lanternflies previously or would like to inspect your property, contact our South Jersey tree service professionals, and we’ll see what we can do to help.