Lanternflies: They’re Back! The Impact of Spotted Lanternflies on Pennsylvania

It’s been a lovely winter away from those pesky Spotted Lanternflies – but they’re on their way back. As we’ve rested comfortably in our warm, cozy homes, the Lanternflies lurked around us, hiding away in egg masses attached to our trees.

One of the questions we’re asked here at Dominion Pest Control is “what can we do?”. It may seem like the little buggers are everywhere and, no matter how many you stomp while out on your afternoon walk, you’ll never get them all.

There are several ways you can contribute to the demise of these invasive little pests – and the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture is asking for your help! Anyone who’s worked with the Department of Agriculture in the past knows that the regulations surrounding what you can and cannot do pertaining to commercial and private properties are fairly strict. However, the Spotted Lanternfly crisis has proven to warrant more drastic measures, calling for anyone who sees the Lanternflies to take action immediately.

What Can You Do?

One of the most effective ways to remove the threat of lanternflies is to get rid of them before they hatch. Right now, Lanternflies are lying dormant in egg sacs all over the trees in Lancaster County. Each egg sac can contain 50-70 nymphs, and there are often upwards of 70 masses on each tree in infested areas. Once the eggs hatch, the Lanternfly “nymphs” are wingless for the first small portion of their lives. They instead walk or “hop” along the tree, feasting on the sap and covering the bark in a sticky, syrupy liquid.

scraping lanternfly eggs from trees

By scraping the sacs off the trees before they hatch in the spring, you can eliminate hundreds or even thousands of Lanternflies before they even have the chance to hatch. If every homeowner were to scrape the sacs off each tree in their yard, it would cut down on the 2020 Lanternfly population hugely.

Lanternfly Impacts on Pennsylvania Agriculture

Unfortunately, the Spotted Lanternfly has become more than just an unsightly pest wreaking havoc on our forestry. These little buggers have caused upwards of $50 million in damage and destroyed over 300 jobs in orchards or forests, with the potential to do plenty more damage in the coming year.

Moreover, Lancaster County has become a “quarantined” area in order to stop the spread of the lanternflies into neighboring counties and states. Businesses that operate within this quarantine zone and need to leave the zone must obtain a permit showing that they’ve received training from the Department of Agriculture to comply with the quarantine and bring their products or services outside the quarantine lines.

Dominion Pest Control is dedicated to the treatment and removal of Spotted Lanternflies in the Lancaster County area. We field a number of calls not only to treat people’s property, but asking how many trees we’re able to treat at one time! Let us help you eliminate the Spotted Lanternfly from your business or home property today – contact us to get started!