The Spotted Lanternfly Is Back in New Jersey: Learn How to Protect Your Property This Summer

July is the prime time to enjoy your yard, yet this time of year, property owners are often sharing their outdoor space with an unwelcome guest, the Spotted Lanternfly (SLF). While these pests do not harm humans or animals, they can still damper your summer fun and wreak havoc on the health of your trees. Today, we’re exploring the harmful nature of the SLF and how you can take a proactive approach to treating your property.

What Is the Spotted Lanternfly?
Native to Asia, the SLF (Lycorma delicatula) was first spotted in Bucks County, PA, in 2014. Since then, the species has spread throughout Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, New York, Connecticut, and Ohio. They’re invasive insects, preying on over 70 species of hardwood trees and plants by using their piercing-sucking mouths to feed on the plant’s sap.

Their feeding not only greatly reduces the plant’s health and, in some cases, can kill it, but the SLF also secretes honeydew, a sugary substance that attracts insects such as bees, wasps, and other pests. The SLF is also an abundant species as they have no known natural predators, allowing them to multiply in vast numbers and sustain considerable damage to our area each year.

Spotted Lanternfly Life Cycle

How Can Aspen Tree and Turf Help?
At Aspen Tree and Turf, we have services to help treat SLF outbreaks for both residential and commercial properties. The first step is identifying the host tree on your property that the insects flock to. Again, the SLF feeds on over 70 species of plants, but their favorites are typically the tree of heaven species (Ailanthus altissima), Red Maples, and River Birch trees. Once we find the host tree, we can perform a bark treatment with dinotefuran, which the tree absorbs, and when the SLF feeds on it, it will die.

While it is difficult to completely eradicate the SLF, as the adults can fly in from neighboring areas, the bark treatment is a proactive approach to minimize the damage they inflict and combat the infestation. The treatment lasts 60 to 90 days; however, depending on the pest pressure, another treatment or cover spray may be necessary for further insect and disease control.

If you had an SLF problem last year, then odds are, you’ll have one again this summer, so don’t wait to begin treatment. Call us today to schedule your bark treatment and enjoy peace of mind this summer!

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