Spotted Lanternflies (SLF) might be pretty to look at, but their invasive nature can cause significant issues to those gardeners looking to watch their foliage flourish in Spring. The Planthopper has made its way from Asia during the last decade, and its lifecycle is known to stress trees and cause localized branch damage.
What Are Lanternflies?
Spotted Lanternflies first appeared in Michigan in 2021, becoming the latest invasive species to deal with when maintaining your yard. The Spotted Lanternfly hails from China and feeds on several tree types, including fruit-bearing and woody variants. Warnings have already been issued concerning the impact they can have on nursery plants, grapevines, and trees.
The SLF feeding process causes issues for many plants, some of which will be found in your garden. The good news is that while SLF are known to stress various kinds of vegetation, they don’t directly kill plants off and are considered a nuisance pest. However, while the problem has been flagged at a Federal level, Lanternflies aren’t expected to go away soon.
Why Are Lanternflies A Problem?
The main issue with the Lanternfly lifecycle is how it feeds and the impact that it can have on the plants in your yard. Sucking sap and secreting a sugar-rich, sticky liquid called honeydew causes dramatic health issues for trees and is known to weaken them over the long term. Other issues flagged include the increased risk of mold growth and attracting other nuisance pests to your backyard.
No one wants to see more yellow jackets, flies, and ants in their garden when they’re hoping to spend more time outside and enjoy the incoming warm weather. You should also consider the plants that Lanternflies can impact most. The list includes those mentioned above, as well as Black Walnut, Maple, and Tree-of-heaven.
Ornamental and shade trees can also be damaged by the lifecycle of the Lanternfly over an extended period, making it a worthwhile chore to prepare for an increase in these pests in Michigan during 2023. When making plans for the coming months, you should note that Lanternflies are known to feed on over 70 different species, including vegetable, fruit, and herb plants.
How Should I Deal With Lanternflies?
Unfortunately for fed-up gardeners, Lanternflies cannot be prevented from entering a property, and it’s strongly recommended that you monitor your prized plants to ensure they remain healthy. This can be done using traps or through a simple visual inspection, keeping an eye out for honeydew, eggs, or branch damage. The good news is that Lanternfly eggs will be noticeable on the bark of trees between September and November, and insecticidal soap can be sprayed directly on adults and nymphs to help lower the population.
Spotted Lanternflies are known to be less resilient than other pests and can be dealt with without having to use strong insecticides. And without any known natural enemies for SLF to help reduce the population, it will be worth exploring your options for controlling the spread of this pest in the future.
Safari Tree Can Help Protect Your Yard From Pests
Safari Tree can help with your most crucial yard maintenance decisions, including providing preventive measures to avoid incoming bugs and pests. To get a free estimate for your yard, contact Safari Tree today.