What Kills Lantern Flies: Effective Ways to Eliminate Lantern Flies

Ever wonder what kills lantern flies? Lantern flies are invasive pests that can wreak havoc on plants and trees, causing significant damage to agricultural crops and landscapes. These insects are known for their destructive feeding habits and ability to reproduce rapidly, making it crucial to find effective ways to eliminate them. In this article, we will explore various methods to control and eradicate lantern flies, ensuring the safety and health of our environment. So, let’s dive in!

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What Are Spotted Lanternflies?



Spotted lanternflies, also known as lanternflies or spotted lanternfly eggs and nymphs, are insects that belong to the family Fulgoridae. They are native to regions in Asia, particularly China, India, and Vietnam. These pests have become a major concern in recent years due to their invasive nature and destructive feeding habits.

Spotted lanternflies are characterized by their distinct appearance. As nymphs, they are small and black, with white spots on their bodies.

As they mature into adults, they undergo a transformation, developing wings and growing to about one inch in length. Adult lanternflies have black bodies with gray wings adorned with black spots. The hind wings are bright red with black spots, which are revealed when they fly.

These insects primarily feed on the sap of various plants, particularly trees such as fruit trees, grapevines, and hardwood trees.

Using Mouthparts

They use their sharp mouthparts to pierce the bark and extract sap, weakening the plants and making them vulnerable to diseases and other pests. In addition to their feeding damage, lanternflies excrete a sticky, sugary substance called honeydew, which can attract other insects and promote the growth of sooty mold on plants.

One of the concerning aspects of spotted lanternflies is their reproductive capabilities. Females can lay egg masses containing up to 50 eggs each. These egg masses are often laid on smooth surfaces without natural predators, such as tree trunks, rocks, outdoor furniture, and vehicles. The eggs are protected by a mud-like covering that hardens over time, providing insulation and protection to lay eggs from predators.


The spread of spotted lanternflies is facilitated by human activities, such as the transportation of infested materials and the movement of vehicles and outdoor equipment. As a result, they have rapidly expanded their range in the United States, particularly in states like Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, and Virginia.

The presence of spotted lanternflies poses a significant threat to agriculture, horticulture, and the environment. It is crucial to implement effective control measures to prevent the spread and minimize the damage caused by these invasive pests.

What Should I Look for?



Between early autumn to late spring look in or around host trees to find mud brown egg masses. From late summer to autumn, observe dark streaks of sap on bark trees. This occurs when the SLF pierces the trunk to access the saps.

Infested trees weakened plants can sometimes develop honeydew secretions that become contaminated with the growth over the years with the resulting black mould. Depending upon exposure, sap and honeydew increase bee and wasp colonies around the plant. The clear sign of SLF problems are the adult gathering around the trees of heaven in early Fall. This can be done in five steps.

Egg Masses: Remove the Eggs

From late September to May, keep an eye out for a lot of eggs. It is possible to remove egg particles from a hard surface by using a hammer or with a piece of thin paper. It is recommended that eggs hatch a bag be sealed or put into a clean jar or diluted alcohol to kill eggs before disposal.

Early Fall: Stop Spreading

Check outdoor objects for egg masses before they are removed. These items include automobiles, wood and outdoor furniture, and picnic tables.

The Spotted Lanternfly Life-cycle



A comprehensive understanding of the spotted lanternfly lifecycle is important in managing and preventing problems. Egg laying takes place in late spring. Usually in May.

Often this can occur at the end of April. The nymphs then go through their four instars and go down the host tree again. They may climb a tree for food, he or she may be struck by wind or rain before climbing it again. Around July, the Nymph will become adult.

Adults then mate and women then lay eggs and sperm from late spring until early fall. Generations following winter and adults die in late summer and autumn.

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What Trees Do They Damage?



Spotted lanternflies feed on various host plant species between May and October and their feeding preferences change during maturation. Generally nymphs are fed a vast variety of host plants. adult nymphs target only a few species. More than 65 species of plants have been identified that will feed the SLF. Preferable host plants for SLF nymph species: Preferential apple trees for SLF adult:

Plant More Milkweed



It appears these flies love Milkweed asclepia syriaca (Milkweed) mainly for poisonous sap. Because the US is no home they have no idea that this is poison and consume it killing them. The poisoning common milkweed sap also reduces it so they can be picked easily. Milkweeds help protect the monarch butterfly butterflies and prevent lanternflies from extinction.

Spotted Lanternfly Prevention Measures



Preventing the spread of the invasive pest, species of pest, and infestation of spotted lanternflies is crucial to protect plants, crops, and the environment. Here are some effective prevention measures to consider:

Inspect and Remove Egg Masses

Lanternflies lay their eggs in egg masses on various surfaces. Regularly inspect outdoor lawn furniture,, vehicles, tree trunks, rocks, and other objects for egg masses. Scrape off and destroy the egg masses by double-bagging them or using rubbing alcohol, or hand sanitizer to kill the eggs.

Eliminate Ailanthus Trees

Ailanthus, also known as the tree of heaven, is a preferred host plant for lanternflies. Remove any ailanthus trees on your property, as they attract and support lanternfly populations. Seek professional assistance for tree removal if needed.

Check Plants and Outdoor Items

Before bringing plants, firewood, or outdoor items into your property, carefully inspect them for lanternflies or egg masses. Remove any lanternflies you find and destroy the eggs.

Use Sticky Bands

Wrap sticky paper bands around tree trunks to catch lanternflies as they climb up or down. These bands create a barrier that traps the insects, preventing them from reaching the canopy and laying eggs. Regularly check and replace the sticky tree bands as needed.

Plant Deterrent Plants

Consider planting plants that deter lanternflies. Some examples include lavender, rosemary, mint, and marigolds. These plants can help repel lanternflies and reduce their presence in your garden.

Educate and Spread Awareness

Inform your neighbors, friends, and community about the threat of spotted lanternflies. Educate them on identification, prevention measures, and the importance of reporting any sightings to local agricultural or extension offices.

Support Local Quarantine Efforts

If you live in an area with a spotted lanternfly quarantine, familiarize yourself with the regulations. Follow guidelines for moving items and ensure compliance with quarantine requirements to prevent the accidental spread of adult spotted lanternflies elsewhere.

Report Sightings

If you spot a spotted lanternfly or suspect an infestation, report it to the appropriate authorities or local extension offices. Early reporting helps in tracking and managing infestations effectively.

Remember, prevention is key when it comes to managing spotted lanternflies. By implementing these preventive measures, you can contribute to reducing their spread and protecting your plants and the environment from the damaging effects of these invasive pests.

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Spotted Lanternfly Natural Remedies



When it comes to controlling spotted lanternflies, there are several natural remedies that can be effective in reducing their populations. Here are some natural remedies to consider:

Neem Oil

Neem oil is derived from the neem tree and acts as a natural insecticide. It has repellent properties and can disrupt the feeding and reproductive behavior of lanternflies. Dilute neem oil according to the instructions and spray it on infested plants.

Essential Oils

Certain essential oils can help repel lanternflies. Peppermint, citrus, and lavender oils are known to have repellent effects on these pests. Mix a few drops of the chosen essential oil with water in a spray bottle and apply it to infested plants.

Soap and Water Solution

Create a homemade insecticidal dish soap just by mixing mild liquid soap with water. Spray the solution directly on lanternflies to suffocate and kill them. This method is more effective on nymphs but can also be used on adult lanternflies.

Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous earth is a natural substance made from fossilized remains of diatoms. It works by dehydrating insects upon contact. Sprinkle a thin layer of diatomaceous earth around the base of plants or areas where lanternflies are present. Be cautious not to inhale the fine dust particles while applying it.

Beneficial Insects

Introduce predatory insects to your garden, such as lacewings and ladybugs. These beneficial insects feed on lanternfly nymphs and can help control their populations. Create a welcoming environment for these small insects by planting flowers and providing suitable habitats.

Physical Removal

Handpicking and physically removing lanternflies from plants can be an effective method to spray lanternflies, especially for small infestations. Use gloves and a full container filled with soapy water to submerge other plants and drown the collected lanternflies.

Tree Banding

Wrap sticky bands around tree trunks to trap lanternflies as they climb up or down. The sticky tape and hard surface also keep lanternflies jump prevents them from reaching the canopy and laying eggs. Regularly check and replace the sticky bands to maintain their effectiveness.

Remember, while natural remedies can help in reducing lanternfly populations, they may not provide complete eradication. For severe infestations or persistent problems, it is advisable to seek professional assistance or explore additional control methods.

Spotted Lanternfly Chemical Control



n severe infestations of spotted lanternflies, chemical control methods may be necessary to effectively manage their populations. Here are some chemical control options to consider:


There are specific insecticides available that target lanternflies. These insecticides contain active ingredients such as pyrethroids, neonicotinoids, or carbamates. It is important to carefully read and follow the instructions on the product label. Apply insecticides according to the recommended dosage and timing, taking into consideration the growth stage of the lanternflies.

What Kills Lantern Flies: Systemic Insecticides

Systemic insecticides are absorbed by the plants and transported throughout their tissues, making them effective against lanternflies that feed on the sap of other plants. Apply systemic insecticides to the soil around the base of infested plants or use trunk injections for more targeted control.

What Kills Lantern Flies: Professional Assistance

If you are dealing with a large-scale or persistent lanternfly infestation, it is advisable to seek professional help. Pest control companies or local extension services have expertise in handling pesticide applications. They can assess the situation, recommend appropriate insecticides, and apply them using the necessary precautions.

When using chemical control methods, it is important to consider the potential impact on beneficial insects, other non-target organisms, and the environment as a whole. Follow the instructions and safety guidelines provided by the manufacturer. Minimize pesticide drift and runoff by applying them during calm weather and avoiding direct application to water sources.

It is also worth noting that chemical control should be integrated with other management strategies for a comprehensive approach. Combining chemical control with preventive measures, natural remedies, and cultural practices can provide more effective and sustainable control of spotted lanternflies.

Before using any insecticide on spotted lanternfly, familiarize yourself with local regulations, restrictions, and licensing requirements regarding pesticide use. Always prioritize safety and environmental responsibility when using chemical control methods for spotted lanternfly management.

Spotted Lanternfly Biological Control

Biological control is an effective and environmentally friendly approach to managing spotted lanternfly populations. By utilizing natural enemies of adult spotted lanternflies only, we can reduce their numbers and minimize the need for chemical interventions. Here are some key biological control methods for combating spotted lanternflies:

What Kills Lantern Flies: Spotted Lanternfly Parasitoids

One of the most promising biological control agents for lanternflies is a tiny wasp known as Spotted Lanternfly Parasitoid (Spathius spp.). These parasitic wasps lay their eggs inside the lanternfly eggs. When the wasp larvae hatch, they consume the developing lanternfly embryos, effectively killing them. Introducing these parasitoids into affected areas can help suppress the lanternfly population.

What Kills Lantern Flies: Predatory Insects

Certain predatory insects feed on lanternflies and can contribute to their control. Examples include praying mantises, assassin bugs, and spiders. Additionally, creating a habitat that supports these beneficial insects can enhance biological control efforts. Planting diverse vegetation and avoiding the use of broad-spectrum insecticides can attract and preserve these natural predators.

What Kills Lantern Flies: Birds and Wildlife

Encouraging the presence of birds and other wildlife that feed on lanternflies can contribute to their biological control. Additionally, native birds such as bluebirds, woodpeckers, and chickens have shown an appetite for lanternflies. Furthermore, providing suitable habitats, food sources, and nesting sites can attract these natural predators to your area.

What Kills Lantern Flies: Fungi and Entomopathogens

Some fungi and entomopathogenic microorganisms have shown potential in controlling spotted lanternflies. These natural pathogens infect and kill the insects.

What Kills Lantern Flies: Conservation of Natural Enemies

Preserving and enhancing the habitat of natural enemies is crucial for effective biological control. Furthermore, avoiding the use of broad-spectrum insecticides and promoting biodiversity in landscapes can support the presence of beneficial insects and maintain a balance between predator and prey populations.

Implementing a combination of biological control methods alongside other management strategies, such as preventive measures and cultural practices, can provide long-term and sustainable control of spotted lanternflies. Additionally, it is essential to assess the local conditions, consult with experts, and consider the specific requirements of the biological control agents before implementing these methods. By harnessing the power of nature’s own checks and balances, we can effectively reduce the impact of spotted lanternflies while minimizing harm to the environment.

Spotted Lanternfly Integrated Pest Management

Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is a comprehensive approach that combines various strategies to effectively manage spotted lanternflies while minimizing the use of pesticides. Additionally, IPM integrates multiple methods, including preventive measures, cultural practices, biological control, and targeted chemical control when necessary. Here’s an overview of the key components of a spotted lanternfly IPM program:

What Kills Lantern Flies: Monitoring and Early Detection

Regular monitoring is crucial for detecting and assessing the presence of lanternflies. Furthermore, survey your property and surrounding areas for adult lanternflies, nymphs, and egg masses. Additionally, report any sightings to local agricultural or extension offices. Additionally, early detection allows for timely intervention and prevents population buildup.

What Kills Lantern Flies: Preventive Measures

Implement preventive measures to minimize the risk of lanternfly infestations. Additionally, these measures include inspecting and removing egg masses, eliminating host plants like ailanthus trees, and checking and cleaning outdoor items before bringing them onto your property.

What Kills Lantern Flies: Cultural Practices

Adopt cultural practices that deter lanternflies and reduce their population. Additionally, this includes pruning trees to remove egg-laying sites, using sticky bands on tree trunks to trap nymphs and adults, and maintaining plant health through proper watering, fertilization, and pruning to enhance plant resilience.

What Kills Lantern Flies: Biological Control

Promote natural enemies of lanternflies, such as parasitic wasps, predatory insects, and birds. Furthermore, create habitats that support beneficial insects and birds, including planting diverse vegetation and minimizing pesticide use to preserve their populations.

What Kills Lantern Flies: Chemical Control (as a last resort)

If other methods are insufficient to manage the lanternfly population, targeted chemical control can be considered. Additionally, apply insecticides only when necessary and follow label instructions carefully. Furthermore, select products with low toxicity to non-target organisms and consider using systemic insecticides that minimize environmental impact.

What Kills Lantern Flies: Educational Outreach

Educate the community about the importance of spotted lanternfly management and encourage participation in IPM practices. Additionally, promote awareness, provide resources, and engage in collaborative efforts to combat the spread of lanternflies.

What Kills Lantern Flies: Regular Evaluation and Adaptation

Continuously assess the effectiveness of your IPM program. Additionally, monitor the success of different strategies, make adjustments as needed, and stay informed about the latest research and best practices in spotted lanternfly management.

By combining these approaches in an integrated manner, IPM offers a sustainable and environmentally responsible solution for managing spotted lanternflies. Additionally, it aims to reduce reliance on chemical pesticides while effectively controlling the population and minimizing the damage caused by these invasive pests.

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Seeking Professional Help for Spotted Lanternfly Infested Areas


When dealing with severe infestations of spotted lanternflies, seeking professional help can be highly beneficial in effectively managing the situation. Additionally, professional assistance offers expertise, specialized knowledge, and access to advanced control methods. Here are some reasons why seeking professional help is recommended for spotted lanternfly-infested areas:

What Kills Lantern Flies: Expertise and Experience

Pest control professionals have extensive knowledge and experience in dealing with pest infestations, including spotted lanternflies. They are familiar with the specific characteristics and behaviors of these insects, enabling them to assess the severity of the infestation and devise appropriate control strategies.

What Kills Lantern Flies: Specialized Control Methods

Professionals have access to a range of specialized control methods and tools that may not be readily available to the general public. They can employ advanced techniques such as targeted insecticide applications, tree injections, and monitoring systems to effectively manage spotted lanternfly populations.

What Kills Lantern Flies: Efficient and Timely Treatment

Professionals can provide prompt and efficient treatment for spotted lanternfly infestations. Furthermore, they have the necessary equipment and resources to address large-scale or persistent problems effectively. Additionally, their expertise allows them to implement control measures in a timely manner, preventing further damage and minimizing the spread of lanternflies.

What Kills Lantern Flies: Compliance with Regulations

Pest control professionals are well-versed in local regulations and restrictions regarding pesticide use. Additionally, they ensure that any treatments applied comply with legal requirements, ensuring environmental safety and minimizing risks to human health.

What Kills Lantern Flies: Integrated Approach

Professionals often adopt an integrated pest management (IPM) approach, which combines various strategies to manage pest populations effectively. Furthermore, they consider preventive measures, cultural practices, biological control, and targeted chemical control when necessary. Additionally, this comprehensive approach aims to provide long-term and sustainable management of spotted lanternflies.

What Kills Lantern Flies: Education and Awareness

Professional pest control services often offer educational resources and guidance to property owners. They can educate you about spotted lanternfly identification, prevention measures, and ongoing monitoring. Furthermore, this knowledge empowers you to contribute to the management efforts and take proactive steps to prevent future infestations.

Remember to choose reputable pest control companies or seek assistance from local agricultural or extension offices. Additionally, by enlisting professional help, you can benefit from their expertise, advanced control methods, and efficient treatment, leading to a more effective management of spotted lanternflies in your area.

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