Caution! Birds Getting Stuck on Lanternfly Tree Tape

wren stuck to lanternfly tree tape

Dominion Pest Control continues its commitment to helping save Pennsylvania agriculture from the invasive, destructive spotted lanternfly. Those familiar with our local pest control company and blog are aware of our efforts to help alert everyone about the devastation these tree-destroying insects wreak on our state, as well as others.

The spotted lanternfly could cost the state’s economy at least $324 million annually, as reported by Penn State Extension on its dedicated spotted lanternfly page.

The spotted lanternfly feeds on its host tree or plant and excretes a sugary substance. This honeydew excretion smothers the host tree and promotes the growth of harmful fungi.

Infestations are at critical mass in Pennsylvania, as well as New Jersey, Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, and West Virginia.

Unfortunately, one method used by residential property owners is causing harm to other wildlife. Sticky lanternfly tree traps are killing more than their intended victims.

What Are the Sticky Bands to Trap Lanternflies?

You likely can find sticky bands and tree banding glues online, in local hardware stores, and at your local garden shop.

Commonly, the sticky tree tape is brightly colored yellow or lime green and wrapped around the base of a tree to trap the lanternfly nymphs and adults as they move along the tree’s trunk. These spotted lanternfly tree bands also look like very large, horizontal sticky fly traps.

The sticky tape wrapped around trees is ensnaring woodpeckers, wrens, flying squirrels, and bats.

How Can I Avoid Harming Wildlife?

Banding your trees with sticky tape traps to capture lanternflies, without also using hardware cloth or a chicken-wire shield, puts other types of insects, even beneficial insects, and wildlife at risk.

Wildlife centers receive calls regarding small birds, pollinators, bats, and squirrels trapped on these sticky bands. These calls are increasing. Most of the nontarget critters are killed or injured once trapped on the spotted lanternfly tape.

If you find a bird or other wildlife trapped on your tree’s sticky tape, Penn State Extension suggests you remove the band from the tree carefully and take the animal to a Pennsylvania wildlife rehabilitation center. If you try to remove a bird from a lanternfly tape, you might damage its feathers. It’s best to leave it to the experts.

When used with a hardware cloth or wire screen, sticky bands remain effective yet you’ll prevent catching wildlife you don’t want to harm. This image from Penn State Extension shows how the cloth or wire screening can be installed to avoid bycatch:

wire mesh screen for lanternfly tree trap

Treating the trees and other sites where the nymphs are being sighted is the most effective way to control the spotted lanternfly before they enter the adult stage.

Dominion Pest Control is dedicated to the control of this pervasive pest. We field many calls to treat residential and commercial properties to help prevent the spread of the spotted lanternfly.

Don’t Ignore the Spotted Lanternflies!

lanternfly nymphs

Spotted Lanternfly can be controlled by combining the physical removal during each of its life stages, the removal of its host trees, and through pesticide applications. If you see a spotted lanternfly, your first call should be to the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture (1-888-4BAD-FLY), and your second call should be to Dominion!

When you spot one, you can bet there are hundreds more nearby. Kill it, squash it, smash it. Do whatever you can to help eradicate this destructive insect and help save Pennsylvania’s ag industry from its devasting financial blow.

We welcome you to give us a call to help you join the fight to control the spotted lanternfly!