Spotted lanternflies are a native species to Asia, which have become invasive to Pennsylvania and other parts of North America over the last eight years.

As of March of 2022, 45 counties in Pennsylvania are now under a spotted lanternfly quarantine to corral the spread of spotted lanternflies across the region.

While these exotic bugs may not be directly toxic to humans, they can drastically impact one’s quality of life and ruin their landscaping.

For this reason, if you see a spotted lanternfly infiltration or spotted lanternfly eggs, it’s vital that you call 1-888-4BADFLY or report it online using this tool.

To help you learn more about spotted lanternflies and to prevent an infestation in your area, we’ve prepared this brief guide to help you correctly identify spotted lanternflies and lanternfly eggs.

Are spotted lanternflies harmful?

Thankfully, spotted lanternflies are not harmful to humans, and most do not bite. However, spotted lanternfly infestations can be devastating to trees and local foliage.

For example, spotted lanternflies can cause the following damage to trees, foliage, and vegetables, including:

  • Dieback
  • Wilting
  • Sap excretion
  • Mold and fungi growth

This mold and fungi growth is not harmful to humans, and there are no reported cases of spotted lanternflies completely killing trees.

On the other hand, this doesn’t mean that spotted lanternflies are harmless. Spotted lanternflies release a sugary substance known as honeydew after they feed that can coat your foliage, deck, and anything you have in the yard. While this honeydew is not toxic, it can be very difficult to clean and ruin those nice PA summer days we all look forward to.

As a side note, there is no evidence to suggest that spotted lanternflies are harmful to pets, though some people suggest they may cause vomiting. Birds tend to avoid these creatures, and so should your pets to be safe.

Residents can sway spotted lanternflies, though this is very difficult if you’re trying to control an entire infestation. For this reason, it’s critical to stop an infestation before it occurs by properly identifying their eggs and learning how to safely remove them from trees and other areas.

How to identify spotted lanternfly eggs

Spotted lanternfly eggs are typically flat white or brownish deposits found on trees about 1.5-inches long. These eggs can range in appearance, depending on whether or not they are covered with a hard substance.

Typically, egg deposits consist of a row of raised eggs that are jagged or smoothed, depending on if the mother covers them before the next season.

The mother attempts to cover the eggs to give them better protection against the harsh winters. However, if their habitats are disturbed, they may not have time to cover the eggs.

Older eggs will be drier than fresh eggs, and egg deposits could still be left on the tree after lanternflies have hatched. Observe the appearance and determine whether the egg deposits are excessively cracked or have emergency holes pushed through them.

As a precaution, report any spotted lanternfly eggs and remove them, regardless of whether you believe they’ve already hatched.

How can you remove spotted lanternfly eggs?

If you spot a lanternfly egg deposit, you can scrape them into a plastic ziplock bag or waste container containing rubbing alcohol or hand sanitizer and enclose the container to ensure the eggs don’t hatch.

Use a putty knife or flat tool to scrape the eggs into the bag.

In addition, some insecticides containing ovicides have shown promise in combating lanternfly eggs. For example, Damoil, JMS Stylet, and Lesco Horticultural oils have shown great promise in combating spotted lanternfly eggs when applied at a concentration of 3%.

When do spotted lanternflies lay eggs?

Generally, spotted lanternflies lay eggs during the late summer months and early fall, beginning in September. In addition to trees, spotted lanternflies lay eggs on all flat surfaces, which could include branches, rocks, your deck, or any sort of flat equipment in your yard.

When do spotted lanternflies hatch?

Spotted lanternflies hatch in mid-May, which provides homeowners and residents plenty of time to remove existing eggs and take proper precautions before they hatch. They are one of many bugs in PA you should look out for when getting your home and yard ready for summer.

What trees do spotted lanternflies lay eggs on?

Spotted lanternflies can cause significant damage to many trees that are critical to PA’s local ecosystems. The following trees are under threat due to spotted lanternfly infestations:

  • American Beech
  • Apple
  • Cherries
  • Birch
  • Black Gum
  • Service Berry
  • Dogwood
  • Black Walnut
  • Pine
  • Grape
  • Oak
  • Poplar
  • Tree of Heaven
  • Sycamore
  • Willow Peaches
  • Hickory
  • Maple
  • Sassafras
  • White Ash

Furthermore, spotted lanternflies threaten over 70 species of trees and foliage, including flowers and grapevines.

Containing the spread of spotted lanternflies can be accomplished if PA residents understand the signs to identify spotted lanternfly stages and their eggs. While not directly toxic to humans, spotted lanternflies can wreak havoc on local PA ecosystems and ruin your summer if you don’t deal with eggs and infestations as they arrive.

Contact the property authorities listed above and reach out to a qualified pest control expert if you need help dealing with a rapid spotted lanternfly infestation.


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