Good Bug/Bad Bug
(updated Saturday, April 30, 2022)
The Spotted Lanternfly
(this chart is taken from Penn State Extension’s SLF Management Guide)
It is time to remind readers of the presence of the Spotted Lanternfly and the importance of stamping out this prolific invader. You may already find their clinging egg masses from last Fall. You will SOON see their first instar. We found an egg mass on the side of our home. We often discover their first instar stage on our Hosta plants. (they resemble small ticks at this stage).
This insect is a bad bug
some SLF facts:
- SLF is native to parts of Asia;
- SLF was first detected in North America in 2014 in southeastern PA and has now spread to other eastern US states;
- SLF feeds voraciously on many economically important crops like grapevines, hops, ornamental nursery plants and several tree species;
- heavy SLF feeding has contributed to the death of grapevines; the invasive tree-of-heaven and black walnut saplings;
- although SLF feeding can stress plants and cause localized branch damage, it is not known to directly kill other plants;
- SLF feeding is considered a “plant stressor” and may contribute to the long-term weakening of established plants and trees;. It is currently considered to be primarily a nuisance pest in residential landscapes;
- SLF does not bite or sting;
- SLF is currently under quarantine in *14 PA counties (including Schuylkill)
(*2022 update of 47 counties);
- The spread of SLF …is most likely due to a combination of (1) natural spread and population growth and (2) human-assisted movement, such as along rail lines and highways;
- slow the spread of SLF by checking your car and any outdoor equipment (outdoor furniture, mowers, firewood, etc.) when going in and out of the quarantine zone.
(the above information is taken from Penn State Extension SLF Management Guide, 2014)
> This adult insect was killed on our deck in October, 2020.
> SLF’s constant sugary “honeydew”(liquid excretion) is constantly flowing from their bodies, drawing ants and other unwanted sugar-loving insects. Honeydew can collect and cause sooty mold but and an abundance can physically block leaves, reducing photosynthesis. It can also leave stains on vehicles, decks, etc. which can be difficult to remove.
> Please feel free to destroy this pesky insect. There are many ways to destroy them although the most environmentally friendly way is to “smoosh them”. Using sticky tapes can be helpful but yes, the tapes can also catch beneficial insects, birds, squirrels. Chicken wire does not prevent the good guys from getting caught on the sticky tape but sticky tape covered with a vinyl mesh covering has been known to be helpful.
> There are additional environmentally friendly ways to collect the SLF in our gardens including a Spotted Lanternfly “Circle Trap” which may be our next attempt for smooshing assistance here at the farmette.