Unlike the common flies you are used to seeing in the home, the Lanternfly is more conspicuous and looks better. This insect has spots on its wings, and despite its pretty appearance, it can be very destructive. This insect is capable of feeding on any type of plant, and if you have a garden, you should get rid of them quickly.
Apart from plants, lanternflies can feed on other elements such as:
- The ornamentals
- Fruit trees
In the United States, there is the department of agriculture made up of a group of professionals. This group is in charge of offering very good recommendations for you to keep lantern flies out of your space. They also point out that the spread of this insect can affect logging, orchards, and the grape industry in the United States.
In 2014, the Lanternfly was detected for the first time in the state of Pennsylvania. Currently, there is the knowledge that this insect is found in 8 states of the United States. In these states, you usually carry out quarantines to control the spread of the Lanternfly.
What’s A Lanternfly?
The Lanternfly is found in various parts of the world, although it is native to China, Vietnam, and Bangladesh. Like the other species of flies, this insect has two wings, but it can jump higher than it can fly. Although this insect can feed on most plants and trees, its favorite is the so-called “Tree of Heaven.”
Adam White was the discoverer of the Lanternfly in 1845 under the name of Aphaena delicatula. The size of the flashlight flies can vary, but the most accurate approximate is 25mm long x 12mm wide.
When adult lanternflies reach adulthood, their front wings turn brown adorned with black spots in the shape of polka dots. The color of the head of this insect is black, and while they rest, their hind wings are visible through the front wings due to their translucent color.
The Lanternfly uses its wings to jump actively, and in traditional Chinese medicine, it is considered poisonous and has properties to eliminate conditions such as swelling.
Even though the Lanternfly does not visually look unpleasant, it can become a very annoying pest. This insect has a good appetite, and if it reaches your space, it will feed on all the plants you have. A spread of the Lanternfly can be harmful to both people and industries.
This insect has a piercing mouthpart with which it can suck more than 70 species of silver for food. But like all insects, lanternflies also have a preference for some plants such as:
- The willow
- The vine
- Black walnut
When a pest feeds on a plant, it is stressed, and its health can be affected by a death. When the Lanternfly sucks on plants for food, it exudes a sugary substance similar to molasses. This substance attracts other insects such as bees and warns, who will also take advantage of it to feed on plants.
Molasses do not provide any benefits to plants; on the contrary, they help the fungi grow and cover all plants completely. Currently, the Lanternfly is making a presence in 256 counties in the state of Pennsylvania. For this reason, the state decided to opt for quarantine to stop the spread of the Lanternfly.
Read More: How to Get Rid of Mayflies Naturally
Do Lanternflies Damage Vegetation?
The Lanternfly feeds on a wide variety of plants to damage all the vegetation in its space. This insect damages plants because when feeding, they pierce and suck any type of plant.
This insect is very annoying as it can become a pest and make great invasions in industries such as homes. Before studying this insect well, it was believed that they could only destroy one tree species, which in this case, would be the tree of heaven. This tree has the peculiarity that its weed is known as unwanted.
But the truth is that there is a long list of plants and trees that the Lanternfly can damage quickly. Although the Lanternfly does not feed on all trees, it does so on most trees, so it is essential to know which trees can damage it.
When a tree is considered a host, it is normal for pests to encourage themselves, especially in the first stage of their lives. As time has passed, insects have learned to detect which trees can serve as hosts. Also, they can determine which plants the natural defenses can be overcome.
Due to the high spread in the United States like Pennsylvania, the Lanternfly may be feeding on trees that aren’t discovered. The United States Department of Agriculture, after conducting several studies, was able to determine which are the trees that most attract the Lanternfly, and are those with the highest content of sap:
- White ash
- Black rubber
- Berry Service
- American beech
- Hard nut
- Tree of heaven
- Black walnut
- Pine tree
How To Get Rid Of Lanternflies Naturally?
Once you are sure that the Lanternfly is in your vegetation area, there are several options you can choose to get rid of them:
- Scraped eggs: October is the month when the lanternflies begin to lay their eggs in the trees. When seeing the eggs’ presence, you can take a strong tool like a putty knife to scrape the eggs’ area. Deposit all eggs in a bag or container with isopropyl alcohol.
- Tree bands: When the lanternflies are born, they begin to climb the trees to feed themselves. Wrap duct tape around the trees in the shape of rings so you can catch them. In many stores, you can easily find the duct tape.
- Remove the trees: The trees in the sky are the favorite of the lanternflies, and if you want to control this pest, a good option will be to remove them. Before removing the tree, you can apply herbicide or flower sprays.
- Use chemicals: You can use insecticides to apply on the flashlight flies and one of the favorite plants of this insect. If you plan to remove the trees from the sky, leave one, and use it to treat it with a systemic insecticide. Thus, when the Lanternfly feeds, it will ingest insects and die.
These options are beneficial for you to get rid of flashlight flies quickly and without much effort. Once they are detected, you must attack them before they turn into a fearsome plague.