A new(ish) pest on the block that bears watching: The Spotted Lanternfly

9/1/2022

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JASON MEYERS, Ph.D.
Senior Technical Services Representative II
BASF Professional & Specialty Solutions

A few years ago, the spotted lanternfly made its entrance into the occasional pest market in the U.S. and has spread around the State of Pennsylvania and into surrounding states. It continues to spread at a rapid rate. Newly established populations have been found in Ohio and Virginia, among other states. Some have even been found in Kansas, although they are not yet established.

The spotted lanternfly is primarily a threat for the fruit industry, such as the grape jam manufacturers located in Pennsylvania. However, it is becoming a significant nuisance pest in lawn and structural areas for pest control. Like the brown marmorated stinkbug, large numbers of spotted lanternflies are found on structures and trees in suburbia, especially those near agricultural areas. PMPs should expect hyper-awareness should the pest reach more significant fruit-producing states like California.

To this point, structural pest control seems to be incidental, as landscape plants and trees are the primary target of the spotted lanternfly (to the aggravation of homeowners and facility managers who are concerned about their property and landscape health).

Current control strategies include scraping/destroying egg masses, banding or eliminating trees and insecticide use. For insecticide use, lawn licensing may be necessary.

The team at BASF has been working with Penn State Extension on reviewing potentially successful products for this large-bodied insect. In tests where residual applications of Alpine® WSG water soluble granule insecticide were used on poly-vinyl siding and Tree of Heaven, data indicated excellent control from one to three weeks, depending on the life stage of the insect:

  • 3rd/4th instar spotted lanternfly (SLF) had 100% mortality with a 2-week residual on poly-vinyl siding
  • Adult SLF had 100% mortality with a 1-week residual on poly-vinyl siding
  • 4th instar SLF had 96% mortality with a 3-week residual on potted Tree of Heaven

Alpine WSG water soluble granule insecticide stands to be the premier product for PMPs to use against this newly burgeoning pest.

Research continues in an effort to combat this challenging pest. Next, data for the use of aerosols on spotted lanternfly egg masses is being collected.

Alpine is a registered product of BASF


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