Lanternfly

BUCKS COUNTY >> Are you seeing Spotted Lanternfly on your Bucks County property, or in your community? Do you have questions about Spotted Lanternfly?

Grab a cup of coffee or tea and join a panel of Penn State Bucks County Master Gardeners for a free Spotted Lanternfly Q&A live session on Saturday morning, September 19 from 9 to 10 a.m. The session takes place via Zoom technology.

To participate in this session, you’ll need an internet connection, as well as a computer, tablet or smartphone, and the latest version of Zoom installed (a free app).

Submit your questions (up to three) along with your registration. All submitted questions will be addressed and answered during the live session. If there is sufficient time, the Master Gardener panel will take live questions, too.

Register here: https://extension.psu.edu/slf-bucks

“It’s bad enough that people are dealing with stresses associated with the pandemic,” said Heather Leach, spotted lanternfly extension associate in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences. “The yearly invasion of the spotted lanternfly, an insect that takes time, energy and money to keep under control, is causing more troubles for some folks.”

The pest, which feeds on the sap of grapevines, hardwoods and ornamentals, strikes a double blow — not only does it stress host plants, but it also can render outdoor areas unusable by leaving behind a sugary excrement called honeydew, which attracts other insects and promotes the growth of sooty mold. The only consolation is that the insects do not bite or sting, nor do they cause structural damage.

Despite not being a native species — it is native to central Asia — the spotted lanternfly seems well adapted to the climate of the northeastern U.S. It now has been reported in 26 Pennsylvania counties and in several neighboring states.

The insect has established a life cycle that completes one generation each year. It begins in late summer when adults mate and lay eggs — gray-colored, flat clusters that resemble mud — on a variety of surfaces. While those adults do not survive the winter, the same does not hold true for their egg masses, which are hardy enough to withstand brutal weather conditions.

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