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As previously noted, tree of heaven, (TOH), Ailanthus altissima, is the preferred host for late nymphal stages and early adults of spotted lanternfly. By using sticky bands on TOH and other preferred hosts, SLF can be monitored effectively.

Spotted lanternfly has a habit of moving up and down trees during the day, particularly the first three instars. Because of this movement, sticky bands have been found to play a part in the monitoring and management of this pest. According to work done in the quarantine zone in Pennsylvania, placing bands about 4 feet from the bottom of a tree has captured this insect both going up and coming down. Stickiness of the band used will determine how effective it is in capturing the various stages of spotted lanternfly. Early instars are more easily captured using bands that are less sticky but 4th instars and adults of this pest have shown the ability to walk over a less sticky band, or avoid them entirely. However, when choosing the type of band to use, its stickiness is an important consideration as the use of stronger sticky bands can bring the unwanted consequences of capturing beneficial insects and pollinators, squirrels, bats and birds. To limit this type of capture, a narrower band can be used to limit the surface area that is contacted by the larger animals or a cage made of chicken wire can be used to limit unwanted captures. Whatever banding method is used, bands should be monitored on a regular basis (at least once a week). In areas of heavy infestations, captured SLF nymphs can be so abundant that they cover the band, allowing remaining nymphs and adults to just walk over them without getting stuck. Regular monitoring will also provide the opportunity to more effectively deal with any by-catch if it occurs. If an animal, bat or bird is captured in the sticky band do not attempt to free it yourself. Carefully remove the sticky band and take it to a local wildlife rehabilitation center to avoid risk of injury to you or the accidental capture.

Monitoring via Environmental DNA (eDNA) – a technique that picks up traces of SLF in the environment if it was present within a few days.

Helpful Tips

  • Look for eggs that can be laid on virtually any hard surface that is in the vicinity of the feeding sites.
  • View and/or print a checklist of common items that have been found to harbor spotted lanternfly.

Note

  • NYS Department of Ag & Markets (NYSDAM) has an external quarantine which restricts movement of certain materials coming from the quarantine zones.
  • NYSDAM is operating checkpoints on major transportation routes into New York State, looking for spotted lanternfly and providing educational resources to truckers.
  • New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) and NYSDAM are doing grid surveys in areas surrounding all confirmed SLF sightings.
Spotted lanternfly 4th instar nymphs on Tree of Heaven
Spotted lanternfly 4th instar nymphs on Tree of Heaven. Photo: NYSIPM Staff.
Banded tree of heaven with Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture (PDA) tag.
Banded tree of heaven with Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture (PDA) tag. Photo: NYSIPM Staff.
Banded oak tree with cage to reduce unwanted captures such as birds
Banded oak tree with cage to reduce unwanted captures such as birds. Photo: NYSIPM Staff.
Gravid spotted lanternfly females laying inside a trunk crevice
Gravid spotted lanternfly females laying inside a trunk crevice. Photo: NYSIPM Staff.
It is common to see spotted lanternfly egg masses on rusted metal.
It is common to see spotted lanternfly egg masses on rusted metal. Photo: Lawrence Barringer, Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, Bugwood.org.
Camouflaged spotted lanternfly egg mass on bark.
Camouflaged spotted lanternfly egg mass on bark. Photo: Kenneth R. Law, USDA APHIS PPQ, Bugwood.org.
Spotted lanternfly egg masses on stone.
Spotted lanternfly egg masses on stone. Photo: PA Department of Agriculture.
Image of hitchhiker with photo of spotted lanternfly on car
Monitoring for nymphs, egg masses, and adults: Expert Hitchhiker media campaign. Photo: PA Department of Agriculture.
Numerous spotted lanternfly nymphs congregating on top of tire inside wheel well of truck
Monitoring for nymphs, egg masses, and adults: Numerous spotted lanternfly nymphs congregating on top of tire inside wheel well of truck. Photo: PA Department of Agriculture.
Woman inspecting undercarriage of truck with flashlight
Monitoring for nymphs, egg masses, and adults: Inspecting undercarriage of truck with flashlight. Photo: USDA Flickr.
As if looking through binoculars, sighting deer and an adult spotted lanternfly. "Hunters, set your sights on spotted lanternfly."
Monitoring for nymphs, egg masses, and adults: Campaign addressing hunters. Photo: PA Department of Agriculture.