What damage can the Spotted Lanternfly cause?

Damage To Host Trees and Plants

  • The Spotter Lanternfly, SLF, is capable of causing serious damage to host plants, including oozing sap from the trees, wilting, leaf curling, and tree dieback.
  • The SLF are sap, honeydew, sucking insects. They use special mouthparts to pierce into the flesh of the plant like a straw. While feeding some of the sap will remain on the flesh of the plant that serves as a base for sooty mold/fungi. This mold is generally harmless to people but can damage the plant. If you see sooty mold or sticky areas on a plant or tree, it may be infested by SLF.
  • There is no way to prevent SLF from invading your property however, if spotted you can start a treatment regiment as prescribed by the treatment matrix.
  • SLF does not kill every tree on which it feeds. Some plants are at more risk than others. Plant death has only been observed in grapevines, tree-of-heaven, and some tree saplings
  • Following a heavy infestation, canopy dieback of black walnut, willow, staghorn sumac, and maple have been reported. It is possible that after heavy feeding, multiple years of sustained damage, or dry years, SLF may cause significant damage to ornamental and shade trees.

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