Why Are Spotted Lanternfly Bad?

  • By: CarlBroadbent
  • Time to read: 4 min.
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Spotted lanternflies are bad because when they spread into new uncontrolled areas, they can cause significant damage to both native and economically important plants.

What are the Harmful Effects of Spotted Lanternflies?

Spotted lanternflies have many harmful effects, most of which result from the oozing sap they produce after attacking plants.

What are the Harmful Effects of Spotted Lanternflies?
Harmful Effects of Spotted Lanternflies

Other effects include wilting, leaf curling, and dieback in trees, vines, shrubs, and many other types of plants.

How Does the Spotted Lanternfly Affect  Plants?

Spotted lanternfly damage plants by sipping their sap.

Due to their diet, fecal matter from these insects encourages fungal disease.

This insect feeds on plant sap and excretes most of the carbohydrates they consume in the form of honeydew.

The honeydew provides great conditions for mold growth, which reduces yield by covering leaves, blocking out sunlight, and killing plants.

The primary reasons why the Spotted Lanternfly targets the host are nourishment and survival.

The following are some species that are affected by this pest.

How to Get Rid of Spotted Lanternflies

How to Get Rid of Spotted Lanternflies
Get Rid of Spotted Lanternflies

The following are ways to get rid of spotted lanternfly.

Manually Identification and Killing

The ideal way to kill the Spotted Lanternfly is to identify and squash them.

Although the insects excel at hopping, they aren’t as good at flying quickly, making it easy to stomp them.

Capture in a Plastic Bottle

While it’s effective, trapping lanternflies inside a bottle isn’t an easy way of getting rid of this annoying insect.

It involves holding an empty, uncapped water bottle over the insects.

Cap it between collection sites, and then place it in your refrigerator to kill them before disposing of.

Scrapping Off of Eggs

Spotted lanternfly dies when exposed to low temperature. The eggs are usually laid on tree barks and the underside of branches.

Spotted Lanternfly tree traps
Spotted Lanternfly traps

Autumn and winter are the best seasons to scoop these eggs before it’s too late.

Using a stick, knife, or any other hard object, remove the egg through them in a container filled with alcohol which kills them.

Introduction of Natural Predators

Natural predators are an effective and eco-friendly way of eliminating spotted lanternflies.

Animals that feed on the insects include:

  • grey catbirds
  • cats
  • dogs
  • ducks
  • chickens
  • wheel bugs
  • hornets
  • green frogs
  • fishing spider goldfish
  • koi fish
  • and yellow jackets 

Plant More Milkweed

Spotted lanternflies are attracted to common milkweed without knowing that the plants are poisonous.

Milkweed flower that looks like weed.
Milkweed

The poisonous sap slows the insect down, so it’s easier to catch and smash.

Planting more milkweed comes with additional benefits of helping to save the monarch butterfly.

Use Sticky Paper and Duct Tape

Wrap tape around trees that the spotted lanternfly is attracted to around and post monitor the tape closely.

Ensure that the tape is slightly above the ground to avoid trapping the wrong targets, such as crawling insects.

Spray Weeds with Vinegar 

How to clean aero garden with vinegar
Vinegar

When spotted lanternfly are in weeds, spray them with vinegar. They die instantly and get rid of the weeds too.

Apply Table Salt to The Insect  from Close Range

Use guns to kill spotted lanternfly. The first short may not kill them, but it will shock them and step on them.

How to Prevent Spotted Lanternfly Attacks

Here are some ways you can reduce the risk of Spotted Lanternfly attacks:

  1. You must remove the tree of heaven from your yard to prevent spotted lanternfly attacks. The species usually grows in large numbers and appears to be the best choice of food for spotted lanternfly.
  1. Get rid of the eggs by placing them in a plastic container filled with hand sanitizer and dispose of them in the trash in a sealed container.
  1. Alternatively, you can cover your plants with nets. The holes in the netting must be small enough that the insect can’t penetrate.

Wrapping Up

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The Complete Idiot's Guide to Year-Round Gardening Tweet Chat 2010-05-27 Clip 5.avi

Spotted lanternflies are a nuisance, mainly because they are unsightly and have harmful effects on otherwise economically important plants.

They can also affect your pets, especially dogs when ingested.

Precisely, they cause vomiting and other adverse reactions to your furry friends.

Spotted Lanternfly invasion problem
Spotted Lanternfly problem

The best way to deal with these insects is by employing the preventive measures mentioned in this article.

Ensure that you get rid of the tree of heaven by uprooting it entirely, as it’s their preferred host plant. 

If you’re already experiencing an infestation, there are several ways to combat it:

  • First, apply insecticides to the affected plants and remove the affected leaves.
  • Then, look for any eggs and destroy them by smashing or applying chemicals. It’s worth noting that you might need professional help for extensive infestations.
  • Lastly, and more importantly, avoid using home remedies such as vinegar and soap to treat Spotted Lanternfly attacks.

That’s not to say they’re entirely ineffective, but these are usually required in large amounts and might make the plant produce unsuitable for human consumption.

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