Right when we are beginning to get a good grasp on the Emerald Ash Borer, a new pest presents itself: the Spotted Lanternfly.
Like most invasive insects, the Spotted Lanternfly (SLF) was brought in from oversees, and was first identified in Pennsylvania in 2014. Since then, SLF has quickly spread across neighboring states, and is making its way westward. Most recently, the insect has been officially identified in both Michigan and Indiana.
SLF has spread so rapidly because of its ability to "hitchhike" in all stages of life, laying eggs and/or attaching itself to virtually any smooth surface. Due to its ability to spread so easily and rapidly, it is only a matter of time before this new pest starts presenting itself in our neighborhoods as well. Although there is little we can do to prevent the spread of this insect at this time, the best course of action in Madison and the surrounding areas is early detection. Below is a photo of the various stages of the SLF lifecycle, with the adult presenting its vibrant colors and patterns (shown at the top of the page.)
The insect's preferred host is the Tree of Heaven. That said, SLF reportedly feeds on more than 70 different tree species, including many common to our area such as Maple, Birch, Lilac, Poplar, Walnut, and a variety of fruit trees.
While there is little that can do right now other than wait, the best thing to do is familiarize oneself with the characteristics of the insect, and be on the lookout. Here at H&H Arborists, we are already preparing our resources and familiarizing ourselves with the best treatment products and procedures to help combat this new invasive species. Once the SLF has officially been identified in the area, then we can start discussing options for mitigation, and how H&H Arborists can help with that process.
If you would like to know more about the Spotted Lanternfly and how our PHC program can potentially help you in the future, please consider requesting a consultation online or by calling 608-274-7001.
“Spotted Lanternfly (U.S. National Park Service).” National Parks Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, 22 Apr. 2021, https://www.nps.gov/articles/000/spotted-lanternfly.htm.
“Spotted Lanternfly.” IEcoLab, Integrative Ecology Lab, Center for Biodiversity, Temple University, 3 Sept. 2021, https://www.iecolab.org/projects/spotted-lanternfly/.