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Egg Mass Destruction

Destruction of spotted lanternfly egg masses has been shown to help reduce the population levels going into the spring. With 30 – 50 eggs per egg mass, removal of egg masses can have a dramatic effect when population levels are low. Eggs can be laid on any hard surface, including plastic, wood, and metal. Trees, automobiles, trains, wood fence posts, playground equipment, and more can harbor egg masses.

If you find egg masses:

  • Scrape egg masses using scraper cards, or anything else that is hard, tapered and/or flat.
  • Kill eggs by putting them into doubled bags, alcohol, or by smashing or burning them.
Spotted lanternfly eggs being scraped off a tree and into a jar of alcohol.
Spotted lanternfly eggs being scraped off a tree and into a jar of alcohol. Photo: PA Department of Agriculture.

Insecticides

If populations reach a point where sticky bands and removal of egg masses no longer provide desired control, insecticides can be used. All stages of spotted lanternfly have been shown susceptibility to the application of insecticides. Working with data developed by researchers at Penn State University, a number of insecticides have been labeled for use in New York through the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) 2(ee) recommendations and 24(c) Special Local Needs labels. Search for insecticides labeled for use against spotted lanternfly in New York at the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation Bureau of Pest Management- Information Portal, by providing the EPA registration number, product name, or company that registered the product.

Wine grape growers in the quarantine zone in Pennsylvania have found that, while insecticides are effective against SLF, the sheer numbers of this pest entering the vineyard have required applications at 3- to 5-day intervals once adults begin flying in September. Because of the cost involved and the limited modes of action available making resistance management a challenge, it is not feasible for growers to spray their way out of this pest problem.

Bark spray, trunk injections, or root drenches are used to get systemic insecticides into trees.

Tree trunk with numerous spotted lanternfly adults clinging to the bark. Many others pile at the base of the tree. Many adults have their wings spread, showing the red underwing.
Dead spotted lanternfly adults in PA after feeding on trees injected with the systemic insecticide, Dinotefuran. Notice spread "dino-wings". Photo: NYSIPM Staff.
Close-up of several spotted lanternfly adults on tree bark. Several SLF have their wings spread in response to the systemic insecticide, Dinotefuran.
Spotted lanternfly adults with their wings spread in response to the systemic insecticide, Dinotefuran. Photo: NYSIPM Staff.

Trap Trees

In the Pennsylvania quarantine zone there has been work done using tree of heaven as trap trees. Because tree of heaven has both male and female trees, the female trees are identified and removed to limit the spread of tree of heaven by seed. Males trees are then evaluated and thinned to a manageable number that will allow the remaining trees to be treated with a systemic insecticide. Any spotted lanternfly attracted to the trees will feed, ingest the insecticide, and die. Officials in New York are watching the implementation of this management tool closely to determine long term effects on the population. As of April 2019, we are not recommending the removal of tree of heaven as a management tool for a number of reasons. Tree of heaven is currently a valuable tool for monitoring of low-level populations. There are questions as to the need of tree of heaven in the life cycle of SLF and if removal of tree of heaven will send SLF to other, more desirable plants. And most importantly, if tree of heaven is not properly removed, a single tree can turn into a grove of saplings as they can multiply via their root system. If tree of heaven is removed, a registered systemic herbicide should be used to limit regrowth.

See the Spotted Lanternfly IPM Management Calendar (PennState Extension) for management timing.

Diagram showing Trees of Heaven managed as trap trees, as described in the text above.
Trap trees: 1) Female TOH are removed, male TOH are thinned, and systemic insecticide applied to remaining male trees. 2) Spotted lanternflies feed on the treated male tree, and die after ingesting the insecticide. Image redrawn from illustration by E. Swackhamer and A. Corman.