“Spotted lanternflies are an invasive species that can cause economic and property damage unsurpassed by native pests,” says Pest Management Professional Eric Gunner. “The spotted lanternfly has the potential to be a devastating invasive species wherever it goes. To date, the spotted lanternfly population has required many counties throughout several states to implement a quarantine to reduce the spread of these insects.”
Spotted lanternflies feed on most plant species, meaning that they pose a considerable threat to farms and businesses such as vineyards or timber. They are plant parasites that particularly like to feed on grapes, hops, hardwood trees and fruit trees. While feeding, they expel honeydew, a sweet, sticky substance that attracts large numbers of ants and stinging insects. The substance covers all surfaces below it and encourages sooty mold growth. Eggs are laid in rows from September onwards and protected with excretion; each egg mass may contain between 30 and 50 young and it is the eggs that offer the greatest threat to the spread of this pest.
An egg mass is about one inch long and three-quarters of an inch wide and will resemble a splotch of mud or cement. Residents are advised to use their free scraper to remove the egg mass and then deposit the eggs into a plastic bag using gloves and hand sanitizer. It is advised to remove all eggs before they begin hatching in May.
Viking Pest offers specialized treatments for spotted lanternfly control, that are formulated to prevent harming non-target wildlife like squirrels and birds. Treatment for spotted lanternflies is ongoing from May through September.