Reporting baby spotted lanternflies #749868 - Ask Extension


Reporting baby spotted lanternflies #749868

Asked May 14, 2021, 8:45 AM EDT

Hello! I was outside watering my garden this morning and noticed a large amount of baby spotted lanternflies all over my butterfly bush. I tried my best to shake them off and step on them, but I was wondering if there is a home remedy that I could try. I was also informed that some states are collecting reports of lanternfly outbreaks, and I wasn't sure if DE was doing that as well. I live in the Cool Springs neighborhood in Wilmington.

New Castle County Delaware

Expert Response

The DE Department of Agriculture is tracking where the spotted lanternflies are being found; however, they already are aware of them being in Wilmington so there is no reason to contact them with your location specifically.  

I am unaware of any non-pesticide remedies available for successful spotted lanternfly nymph management on small plants.  Sticky bands with wire mesh are available for use with spotted lanternflies feeding on trees.  There are a number of insecticide options available to manage the insects and could include:  shaking them off into a bucket of soapy water, spraying the plant with a broad spectrum insecticide such as Sevin (yes this may have impacts on other insects such as pollinators), or spray the plant with insecticidal soap directly.  Insecticidal soap is a a specific type of soap that is safer to use on plants (less chance of burning foliage).  Insecticidal soap is available at a variety of "box stores" or garden centers throughout the area and has many trade names.  This insecticide has short term residues (less than a day) and only provides control of the insects that it contacts (little chance of harming other insects such as pollinators unless you spray them directly).  This product would probably require repeated use but the impact on non-targets is much better.  

Hope this information is useful and good luck.  

Brian Kunkel Replied May 14, 2021, 6:24 PM EDT

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