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Spotted Lanternfly Eradication Efforts Continue in Berks County PA

Spotted Lanternfly

Spotted Lanternfly

In October 2014, the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture (PDA) reported the first detection of an invasive hemipteran pest in the US that could potentially impact Hudson Valley agriculture and forestry industries, ranging from tree fruit and wine to lumber.

The exotic pest, commonly called spotted lanternfly, Lycorma delicatula (White) was detected in Berks County, PA. The find is less then 100 miles from the PA / NY boarder and posses a threat to tree fruit and wine growers in the Hudson Valley.

The PDA has taken a proactive approach to dealing with the pest using multiple tactics. As the adults were found late in the season and laying the last of their eggs before the frost kill. The state entomologist, Sven-Erik Spichiger, established a tiered strategic plan to:
* Determine the extent of the population using 1 kilometer grids radiating from the find to determine the extent of the population.
* Reduce the population of SLF by removing or scraping eggs from Ailanthus altissima trees and substrate where eggs could be found.
* Use sticky bands to capture nymphs as they emerge from eggs as they climb up trees to feed.
* Seek federal assistance with the goal of eradication
* Develop a volunteer program for egg mass scraping and volunteer tree banding
* To develop collaboration and research efforts
* and Quarantine 6 townships in Pike County to assist residents in identifying and reducing the movement of the pest.

As of June 10th, 2015, approximately 25,740 eggs have been removed and destroyed
and approximately 67,674 nymphs have been captured and destroyed using tree bands as of June 30th, 2015

A recent presentation we delivered to USDA / APHIS on the SLF can be viewed here.

PDA Updates

Spotted lanternfly, a planthopper belongs to the family Fulgoridae in the order Hemiptera. Fulgorids are moderate to large in size, referred to as lanternflies because of the extended front portion of the head was thought to be luminous.

Spotted lanternfly is native to China (Anhui, Beijing, Guangdong, Hebei, Jiangsu, Shaanxi, Shandong, Shanghai, Sichuan, Tianjin, Zhejiang), Japan (at least in Honshu), Korea Republic (introduced in the 2000’s and invasive), Taiwan and Vietnam. When it was reported in South Korea in 2006 it rapidly spread to different parts of the country.

Host range
Spotted lanternfly feeds on a variety of host plants including fruit trees, ornamental trees, woody trees, and vines. Apples, birch, cherry, dogwood, grapes, Korean Evodia, lilac, maple, poplar, stone fruits, and tree-of-heaven are among more than 70 species of hosts attacked by this pest.

Tree-of-heaven, which contains high concentrations of cytotoxic alkaloids, is one of the favorite hosts. It appears that the spotted lanternfly has a high preference for hosts that contain toxic secondary metabolites. Spotted lanternfly has a wider host range early in life as young nymphs

Spotted lanternfly showed a strong preference for grape vine feeding in studies conducted in South Korea. Sugar content of the host plant also appears to play a role in their choice with a preference for hosts containing high sucrose and fructose content.