What is the Spotted Lanternfly and should I be concerned?
The Spotted Lanternfly (SLF) Lycorma delicatula, is an invasive pest that was discovered in Bucks County Pennsylvania in 2014. Since that time it has spread throughout the southeastern portion of the commonwealth until 2020 when it was found in very small population in Allegheny and Beaver counties in western Pennsylvania. Now 26 counties have populations of this invasive insect, which vary from a few individuals to very large populations that are a major nuisance.
The only good news is that these insects do NOT bite or sting and are purely a nuisance. They also do NOT live inside of your home. Though the insect has the great potential to impact agricultural crops like grapes, hops and hardwoods it can also be a major nuisance to homeowners in heavily infested areas and can influence quality of life by occurring in large numbers and leaving behind a sticky mess called “honeydew” which is their excrement. This can attract other insects such as yellowjackets, paper wasps, and bald-faced hornets, which will feed on this excrement.
You will often find SLF on their favorite host tree which is the Tree-of-Heaven (Ailanthus altissima), but they can be found resting or moving from area to area to get to their host trees. SLF are not strong fliers and are considered plant hoppers which means they will utilize the wind to get transported or via cars, rails, etc to spread.
Currently under PA Department of Agriculture guidance, 26 counties (including Allegheny and Beaver) are under quarantine. What does this mean for our customers? Basically, we want YOU to be vigilant and watch for these invasive pests. The link below provides a checklist for homeowners to follow when they are out and about on their property or traveling to other areas within the commonwealth or even within the quarantine area.
Since many Bee Control customers reside in Allegheny and Beaver Counties, we want to ensure you that we are staying on top of this development and are working closely with the Department of Agriculture to minimize any nuisance these beautiful yet very invasive creatures may cause.
You can always call the staff at Bee Control Pittsburgh to answer any questions you may have about the Spotted Laternfly and for assistance identifying this invasive insect. Our staff has been trained over the last year to identify egg masses, nymphs, and adult forms of the SLF and can assist you with any questions or concerns you may have regarding the SLF.
Some of things you can do as a homeowner to combat these insects are to learn it’s life cycles and watch for and scrape away egg masses, band trees with a special sticky tape that will trap nymphs (use only in heavily infested areas), have host trees removed from your property or call us at Bee Control to assist with chemical control of these insects.