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Spotted lanternflies have infested gardens and homes in New York: how to get rid of these insects

'02.10.2023'

Lyudmila Balabay

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The invasive Spotted Lanternfly has arrived in New York. Our editorial staff noticed them at home - not just one or two, but whole swarms. Besides the fact that these insects are not very cute, they are also harmful to the environment. They live off the sap of many types of plants and literally suck the life out of them. They also leave behind a sticky residue that attracts more insects, creates destructive mold, and causes stains.

But don’t rush to grab the first poison you come across—indiscriminate use of pesticides against lanternflies can harm beneficial insects, fish, birds, mammals, and even our pets and ourselves. So ask your local garden center for advice on pesticide application or use the services of a professional pest control company.

Or you can resort to folk methods that have proven to be quite effective in the fight against spotted lanternflies.

1. Remove the highest ailanthus from your territory

The main tree that attracts spotted lanternflies is the tall ailanthus (Ailanthus altissima). Turn them off if you don't want the lanterns to come to you.

You can see what this tree looks like here.

2. Vinegar

Vinegar kills spotted lanternflies. It needs to be sprayed on larvae and adults. But be careful: vinegar can damage your plants. Spray it only on weeds and plants you don't need.

Photo: ForumDaily New York

3. Insecticidal soap

A solution of insecticidal soap should be sprayed directly on adults or larvae. Spraying plants, shrubs and trees with this solution if there are signs of lanternfly infestation will help cope with the problem.

Another option: mix insecticidal soap with apple cider vinegar in a container and hang it on or near infested trees and plants. The solution will attract lanternflies and kill them.

On the subject: Goosebumps: 12 creepy insects that live in New York

4. Vacuum up the larvae

This is a simple and inexpensive natural way to rid your garden or home of unwanted insects. Simply vacuum up the larvae and then destroy them.

5. Soap and water

Homemade lantern spray can be made from liquid soap or dish soap and water.

Mix a quarter cup of liquid soap with a liter of water and a tablespoon of vegetable oil, and then spray on the insects. Because of the soapy water, their breathing is impaired, and the lanterns die.

6. Neem oil (Neem Oil)

Neem oil is a natural fungicide and pesticide obtained from the seeds of the neem tree. This oil does not kill lanternflies immediately, it deprives them of the ability to consume food. As a result, after some time they die of hunger.

An easy homemade spray recipe for spotted lanternflies: 4 teaspoons neem oil, 2 teaspoons liquid soap, and a gallon of water. Spray directly onto insects.

7. Adhesive tapes

These pests crawl only upward along the bark of trees. Therefore, they may get caught in the sticky trap. Buy masking tape from your local garden or hardware store. To build a trap, follow the instructions in the video ⇓

8. Kieselguhr (aka diatomite or celite, English - Diatomaceous Earth)

Diatomaceous earth kills many insects by causing dehydration. Make a spray by mixing 4 tablespoons of diatomaceous earth with a liter of water. Shake well and spray onto lanterns.

High quality diatomaceous earth can be purchased online or at most garden centers.

9. Homemade trap

You can make a simple and effective lantern trap. Watch the instructions in the video ⇓

10. Euphorbia bait

Euphorbia is a wildflower that attracts spotted lanternflies. Insects feed on its juice, which later poisons and kills them. Those that do not die immediately will be slow in their movements. This will leave them vulnerable to predators or you could crush them.

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