Over the past decade, if that, spotted lanternflies have become a real problem for vineyards, orchards, and even backyard gardeners. The spotted lanternfly especially loves to attack your grapevines and fruit plants.
We’ve done our part to kill spotted lanternflies on sight.
I am not joking when I tell you, I am a legit flipflop ninja.
Getting rid of lanternflies may be a futile effort, if you want my honest opinion. Though we still try like heck!
Do you remember back in the day when there was a big to-do about stink bugs? I feel like Deja vu.
Anyway, I thought it would be good to spread awareness about these destructive fruit pests. Also, we can use all the help we can get in smashing lanternflies! So get your flipflops ready and stay alert for the different lanternfly lifecycles.
Spotted Lanternfly Nymphs
Spotted lanternflies are black with white polka dots in their nymph stage.
Eventually they also have red markings in this phase.
I’ve seen them on plants for sale at various garden centers. You really have to watch!
When focused on how to get rid of spotted lanternfly nymphs, we use the old Dawn dish soap and water trick.
Most of the time, lanternflies infest our concord grape vine, so we know where to find them each year. (Unfortunately, the grape crop was next to nonexistent in 2022, so I hope we will rebound.)
Killing Adult Spotted Lanternflies
So far, even our kids have stomped on spotted lanternflies just walking along sidewalks. You can sneak up on them from the side, I believe. At least that’s our oldest daughter’s strategy.
Personally, I prefer to turn my Havaianas into a flyswatter and take them out midflight. Or sneak up on them and swat.
Crushing them seems to be the best bet although there are so many, it feels like just a drop in the bucket.
We have friends who’ve tried the yellow tape for the trees, but I believe they stated that it caused issues for other wildlife like the birds and squirrels.
Therefore, our own preferred method is manual removal of any spotted lantern fly adults.
Finding Lanternfly Eggs
Spotting lanternfly eggs could be an even more effective tactic so you can prevent them from hatching and creating a new generation.
The egg masses are brown and look sort of like fungus on a tree. I have yet to identify them in time to do something about it.
If you find the lanternfly egg masses, scrape them off the tree or shrub and destroy them.
Tips for Managing & Mitigating Spread
If they aren’t in your area yet, and you visit a place they do currently infest, be sure to check your car so you don’t bring them home with you!
(And likewise when traveling out of your area, if infested, to another region!)
Do you have any additional tips or tricks for getting rid of spotted lanternflies? Feel free to ask any questions you have and also share your region or grow zone if you care to.
We are in Pennsylvania and I believe this was essentially ground zero for the lanternfly infestation. 🙁
You can learn more about lanternflies at the Penn State Extension website.
Best of luck to everyone in dealing with spotted lanternflies!