Spotted Lanternflies are an invasive species that cause significant destruction to trees and plants.
Where do Spotted Lanternflies Build Nests?
Spotted Lanternflies typically lay eggs on flat tree bark and their favorite type of tree is the tree of heaven, but they can lay eggs on almost anything. They may choose from many different types of trees or a variety of other surfaces as well. According to the PA Department of Agriculture, “Manmade items like vehicles, campers, yard furniture, farm equipment or any other items stored outside are suitable sites for egg laying.” Their egg laying season typically lasts from September until December.
What Trees are Affected by the Spotted Lanternfly?
The spotted lanternfly is known to affect a wide range of trees. According to https://ag.umass.edu/landscape/fact-sheets/spotted-lanternfly, the following trees have been reported as host trees for the spotted lanternfly.
- Tree of heaven (Ailanthus altissima) (preferred host)
- Apple (Malus spp.)
- Plum, cherry, peach, apricot (Prunus spp.)
- Grape (Vitis spp.)
- Pine (Pinus spp.)
- American beech (Fagus grandifolia),
- American linden (Tilia americana),
- American sycamore (Platanus occidentalis),
- big-toothed aspen (Populus grandidentata),
- black birch (Betula lenta),
- black cherry (Prunus serotina),
- black gum (Nyssa sylvatica),
- black walnut (Juglans nigra),
- dogwood (Cornus spp.),
- Japanese snowbell (Styrax japonicus),
- maple (Acer spp.), oak (Quercus spp.),
- paper birch (Betula papyrifera),
- pignut hickory (Carya glabra),
- sassafras (Sassafras albidum),
- serviceberry (Amelanchier canadensis),
- slippery elm (Ulmus rubra),
- tulip poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera),
- white ash (Fraxinus americana),
- willow (Salix spp.).
What Damage do Spotted Lanternflies Cause?
Lanternflies can be very destructive to trees and plants. They damage trees by feeding on the sap from stems, leaves and tree trunks. They are also known to feed on commercial crops. After feeding on the plants, the insect excretes the carbohydrates from the sap into a honeydew-like substance. This sticky honeydew substance helps promote the growth of mold on the plants.
What to Do if you See a Spotted Lanternfly?
It is important to watch for the spotted lanternfly since they can be very destructive to your trees. If you see a spotted lanternfly on your property, it is best to kill them with either a spray or flyswatter since they don’t have any native predators in the area. If they are already present on your trees, the plant health experts at Clauser Tree Care can help.