We in Pennsylvania have a problem. A big problem for 2019. 13 of our Counties (including Philadelphia) are in quarantine at the present time and probably that number will grow as the months go by.
Above, the front page of the Nursery Management Magazine, January 2019 Issue.
Yes, we are not kidding, ane neither are they. This invasion is real. First instars will hatch around the first week of April and start finding their way up the trees, while sucking the life out of them. The eggs were laid during September-December last year.
(fourth instars are 3/4" and are red) These small (1/4") black and red instars can be blocked access to the trees by banding the trees with sticky tape such as duct tape wrapped backward. The ends can be secured with push pins. Adult lanternflies will avoid the tape, (they have wings), so it is essential to band trees in early Spring. Be advised, birds and small mammals stuck to the tape have been reported. Check and change traps every other week.
Lanternflies are not only a Pennsylvania problem. While I as a grower am required to take and pass a 2 hour educational course (I did), all we can do at this time is to destroy any egg masses we find, and later in the season try to prevent the lanternflies to migrate and establish themselves in other States, however, lanternflies have been seen in New York, New Jersey, Virginia, Delaware and Maryland already.
Lanternflies not just look ugly. They do massive damage. They are attracted to about 70 different trees including poplars, and mainly they go for the tree-of heaven a trash tree (you can look it up on the net) This pest also damages crops. Grapes are their favorites, but they will attack other crops such as apples, cucumbers, etc. This page will give you only the specifics of this pest, for more information please visit the Department of Agriculture at www.agriculture.pa.gov.pages/default.aspx
The worst part of it is that when they become adults, around July/August, they also get wings and can fly and swarm and that is mainly how lanternflies expand their territories.
What can you do?
Please be aware, they could be in your neighborhood. Each egg mass can have up to 50 eggs. -Egg masses are laid on plain, flat surfaces such as lumber, rocks, sheds, concrete, walls, picnic tables, train cars, steps, decks, over and under, car tires, car surfaces, under cars, tree trunks with plain surfaces, and covered with a white substance which turns gray by the Spring. They are about an inch long. Often some of the eggs will not be covered. You can scrape them and put them in alcohol. that is what they suggest. Help us stop them.
Also check out this link: www.extension.psu.edu/spottedlanternfly This is the Penn State Extension.
Lanternfly is found in Boston MA.
Latest news: Batkoa major, a fungus seems to be he silver bullet that will destroy this bug, They have found plenty of dead lanterflies killed by Batkoa Major in Berks County near Reding Pa, where the fungus was first located.