Lanternflies have officially taken over the local area. But can they impact your home?
Native to China, Bangladesh, and Vietnam, Spotted Lanternflies have taken over 14 PA counties. They also have recently invaded some parts of New Jersey and Maryland.
These bugs are attracted to wood; sucking the sap out of the wood and causing widespread tree damage. Additionally, lanternflies release a sugary liquid called honeydew, causing black mold to grow on trees, decks, and even play equipment.
Lantern Flies have been linked to these breeds of trees: tree of heaven, birch linden, black walnut, willow, peach, black gum, oak, maple, american beech, dogwood, sassafras, tulip, poplar, apple, hickory, white ash, plum, pine, serviceberry, cherry, grape, and sycamore.
While types of woods such as oak, maple, and walnut, are used for kitchen cabinets, these dangerous bugs don’t enjoy the comfort of our homes. Instead, Spotted Lantern flies look for spots in decks, inside grills, and inside trees to lay their eggs for the spring.
During the holiday season, local state authorities are warning the infected counties to check Christmas trees for Spotted Lanternflies. While pine trees are not the ideal location for these bugs, Christmas tree farmers are on look out for these harmful bugs and their eggs before selling the trees to the community and spreading this species.
These bugs won’t invade your home or wooden cabinets, but they are a dangerous species wreaking havoc on the community.
Lanternflies are a huge threat to the hardwood and lumber industries, affecting many trees used for decks and other construction-based home projects. Farms across the area are suffering due to these insects killing grape vines in the wine industry, local produce, and the tree population.
As the lanternfly population continues to grow in the area and beyond, researchers and local officials are urging citizens to kill them on sight. There is even an app and website available to track spotted lantern flies killings. Created by Brad Line, the Squishr app allows users to log spotted lantern fly killings by posting photographic evidence. The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture also offers citizens an opportunity to log spotted lantern flies sightings using the Spotted Lanternfly Reporting Tool.
There are many ways for homeowners to protect their trees and home from these harmful bugs. The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture suggests scraping eggs off trees and banding trees with sticky tape to catch nymphs (baby Spotted Lanternflies) before they destroy trees.
While Spotted Lanternflies will not harm the inside of your home, they are extremely dangerous to the surrounding area. Learn more about how to contain these invaders here.