NOW IS OUR CHANCE TO STOMP OUT THE SPOTTED LANTERNFLY!Posted on June 25, 2021
Cicadas are getting all the press lately, but the Spotted Lanternfly deserves our attention, right now! These giant leaf-hopper-like, invasive insects are harming and killing our trees by pierce through the bark, and feeding on the sap – think of the stress inflicted on a tree by thousands of small cuts.
The spotted lanternfly is currently in their nymph stage (see #2 in photo below), which is easily identified by their black body with white spots (they later turn red but keep their white spots). At this life stage, they climb up the trunk of trees, and can be easily caught, before they mature and can fly away, and before they cause serious damage.
You may have seen other homeowners using sticky tape, wrapped around a tree to catch them. While this method can be effective, the Township doesn’t encourage it’s use. By trapping the nymphs with the tape, birds are attracted to this as a feeding opportunity, and may get caught and killed. Even with metal wire wrapped over the tape, the Animal Control Officer has encountered small animals getting stuck to the glue.
Instead, we recommend a trap that creates a barrier around the tree trunk, and “funnels” the lanternflies into a trap. The Penn State U. Agricultural Extension website offers: instructions for how to make a homemade trap at:
These traps use milk jugs, zip lock bags, paint stirrer sticks, window screen, hot glue, and some other household items.
Here is a video demonstration on how to build these circle traps, you can skip to 2 minutes in:
Walmart currently carries this style of circle trap online – $39 with free delivery:
There are instructions for faster-to-build if flimsier versions of circle traps found on YouTube, as well.
These traps all work on the principle that lanternflies have a strong instinct to only crawl UP a tree trunk.
For photos and more information:
Video on how to control invasive Ailanthus trees:
Why you should control Ailanthus trees: