Good Bug/Bad Bug
Those nasty critters that appeared in our area last year — big time — have returned only not as adults arriving on the wind like last year but as babies.
Farmer Tom spotted them on the hosta plants. It wasn’t enough that the deer think the plants are meant as a salad bar, eating many as they pass through the yard. Now the 1st instar stage of the SLF had their say, feeding on the tender hostas and depositing their waste (honeydew) on the leaves which is attracting ants.
And they had another plan, to climb up the American red and Norway maple trees but Farmer Tom had a plan, too. He covered the three maple trees affected last year with sticky tape and because Spouse worried about birds getting caught in the tape (we heard stories), he placed chicken wire away from the tape. This precaution not only avoided further Spousal comments, but is also recommended by Penn State Extension.
Most folks know about those beautiful, harmful SLF critters as adults but it’s difficult to see these small, tick-size 1st instar stage. Spots, though, give them away.
Concern of this BAD BUG is not an exaggeration; the damage is devastating. Their beauty is only skin deep.