Beginner’s Guide to Controlling Spotted Lanternflies

Beginner’s Guide to Controlling Spotted Lanternflies: Starting Steps

The Spotted Lanternfly: An unwanted visitor with a big appetite. If you live in Bergen County, NJ, Morris County, NJ, or Union County, NJ, there’s a good chance you’ve heard about, or even encountered, the Spotted Lanternfly (SLF). This invasive pest poses a real threat to our trees, crops, and overall landscape health. With its wide range of host plants, including grapes, apples, and hardwood trees, the SLF has become a significant concern for both homeowners and professionals alike.


  • Why it’s a problem: The SLF feeds on a variety of plants, leaving behind a sticky residue that attracts other insects and promotes mold growth, further harming the plants.
  • What you can do: Early detection and reporting are key! Inspect outdoor items for egg masses, nymphs, and adults. If you find any, destroy them.


Feeling overwhelmed? You’re not alone. Borst Landscape & Design is here to help you navigate this challenge. With our expert knowledge and dedicated service, we can assist in controlling and preventing spotted lanternflies on your property. If you’re looking for peace of mind and professional support, give us a call at (201) 822-9327.


Infographic summarizing Spotted Lanternfly threat and immediate actions you can take including inspecting outdoor items and contacting Borst Landscape & Design for professional assistance - spotted lanternfly infographic pillar-5-steps

Understanding Spotted Lanternflies


Life Cycle and Behavior

Origin and Spread: The spotted lanternfly (Lycorma delicatula) journeyed from China to North America, first detected in Pennsylvania in 2014. Since then, it has spread to several states, posing a threat to agriculture and natural ecosystems.


Identification: Recognizing these pests is key. Adults boast a distinctive appearance with light brown forewings dotted in black and striking red hind wings visible during flight. Nymphs, on the other hand, start as small, black insects that grow into red, spotted forms through their development stages.


Lifecycle: The lifecycle of spotted lanternflies begins with egg masses laid on various surfaces in late fall. These hatch into nymphs in spring, which then evolve through four stages before maturing into adults by summer. Understanding these stages is crucial for effective control.

Host Plants and Damage

Tree of Heaven: This invasive tree is the lanternfly’s preferred host, but the pest doesn’t stop there.


Grapevines, Maples, and More: Spotted lanternflies also feast on over 70 plant species, including economically significant crops like grapes, which have been notably impacted. Their feeding habits can stunt plant growth, reduce yields, and even kill the plants.


The Damage: As these insects feed, they excrete a sticky substance called honeydew, attracting other pests and fostering sooty mold growth. This not only harms plants by inhibiting photosynthesis but can also coat outdoor surfaces, creating a mess and potential damage.


Understanding the spotted lanternfly’s life cycle, behavior, and the damage they cause is the first step in managing their threat. From the Tree of Heaven to grapevines and maples, no plant is safe from their reach. Early detection and proper identification are critical in controlling their spread and minimizing damage.


If you’re facing an infestation or just want to safeguard your property against these invasive pests, it’s time to take action. Contact Borst Landscape & Design today online or by calling (201) 822-9327 for expert assistance. Our team is equipped to help manage and prevent spotted lanternfly damage, preserving the health and beauty of your landscape.

How to Control Spotted Lanternflies

Controlling spotted lanternflies is crucial in protecting your property and local ecosystems. This section will guide you through various methods, emphasizing the importance of each approach.

Mechanical Controls

Crushing, Scraping, Trapping, Circle Trap

  • Crushing and Scraping: This is the most direct method. If you see an adult lanternfly or egg masses, you can crush or scrape them off surfaces. This method is immediate and effective for small numbers.
  • Trapping: Using sticky bands around trees captures nymphs and adults as they climb up to feed. However, be cautious, as these traps can also catch beneficial insects and small birds.
  • Circle Trap: A more selective trap designed to catch lanternflies without harming other wildlife. It’s a DIY-friendly option, and instructions are readily available online.

Chemical Controls

Insecticides, Contact, Systemic, Environmental Impact

  • Insecticides: There are two main types: contact and systemic. Contact insecticides are applied directly to the insect, while systemic insecticides are absorbed by a host plant, poisoning the pest as it feeds. Use insecticides sparingly and follow all label instructions to minimize environmental impact.
  • Environmental Impact: It’s crucial to consider the broader effects of insecticide use. Non-target insects can be harmed, so it’s advised to use these chemicals as a last resort and in focused areas only.

Cultural Controls

Host Plant Removal, Quarantine Compliance

  • Host Plant Removal: While removing the primary host plant, Tree of Heaven (Ailanthus altissima), can help control lanternfly populations, it’s often not practical due to the pest’s wide host range. Removal should be considered carefully and in conjunction with other methods.
  • Quarantine Compliance: Adhering to quarantine measures is vital in slowing the spread of lanternflies. Check vehicles and outdoor equipment for egg masses before moving them out of quarantine zones.

Reporting and Community Efforts

If you see a lanternfly, especially where they haven’t been seen before, it’s important to let your State Department of Agriculture know. Everyone working together helps keep track of and control this unwelcome bug. For more on how to deal with them in your area or to report a sighting, click here.


Controlling spotted lanternflies requires a combination of methods, from physical removal to chemical treatments, all while being mindful of the environmental impact. Quarantine measures and community reporting play a crucial role in managing their spread. If you’re facing an infestation or want to protect your property, contact Borst Landscape & Design today at (201) 822-9327. Our experts are ready to provide guidance and services tailored to keep your landscape healthy and lanternfly-free.

Preventing Spread and Protecting Your Property

Preventing the spread of the spotted lanternfly and protecting your property requires a proactive approach. By focusing on inspection and quarantine measures and leveraging professional services, you can significantly reduce the risk of infestation. Here’s how:

Inspection and Quarantine Measures

Vehicles and Outdoor Equipment:
Before traveling or moving any items stored outdoors, especially if you’re within or near a quarantine zone, it’s crucial to inspect for all life stages of the spotted lanternfly. This includes checking vehicles, trailers, outdoor furniture, and equipment for egg masses or live insects. If you find any, scrape off the egg masses into a solution of hot, soapy water or alcohol to kill them, and crush any live insects.


Permit Requirements:
For businesses operating in or through quarantine zones, obtaining a permit is a legal requirement. This ensures that employees are trained to recognize the spotted lanternfly and understand the necessary precautions to prevent its spread. Information on how to obtain a permit is available through your state’s Department of Agriculture website. Adhering to these requirements not only helps in controlling the spread but also avoids potential penalties.

Borst Landscape & Design Services

At Borst Landscape & Design, we understand the challenges and concerns that come with the presence of spotted lanternflies on your property. That’s why we offer a comprehensive suite of services designed to protect your landscape and help prevent the spread of this invasive pest.


Organic Pest Control:
We provide organic pest control solutions that are effective against the spotted lanternfly while being safe for your family, pets, and the environment. Our methods target the pest without harming beneficial insects or the surrounding ecosystem.


Landscape Maintenance:
Regular maintenance is key to keeping your landscape healthy and resilient against pests like the spotted lanternfly. Our team of certified professionals will ensure that your property is well-cared for, from pruning and mulching to identifying potential host plants and mitigating risks.


Expert Advice:
Need guidance on how to deal with spotted lanternflies or how to protect your property from future infestations? Our experts are here to offer personalized advice and strategies tailored to your specific situation and landscape needs.


The fight against the spotted lanternfly is a community effort. By taking the right precautions and working together, we can protect our landscapes and ecosystems from this invasive species. If you’re concerned about spotted lanternflies or want to learn more about how to safeguard your property, contact Borst Landscape & Design today at (201) 822-9327. Our team is ready to provide you with the support and services you need to keep your property healthy and lanternfly-free.

Essential Takeaways: Protect Our Ecosystems

As we conclude our guide on managing the spotted lanternfly, the fight against this invader is all about staying alert and working together. It’s more than just saving our trees and plants; it’s about preserving the natural charm and well-being of our neighborhoods for the next generations. Here are the key points to keep in mind:


  • Stay Vigilant: Regularly inspect your property, especially if you’re in or near a quarantine zone. Early detection can make a significant difference in controlling the spread of spotted lanternflies.
  • Community Effort: Share information with neighbors and friends. The more people are aware and actively taking steps to control and prevent the spread of spotted lanternflies, the better our chances of minimizing their impact.
  • Report Sightings: If you spot these pests, report them to the appropriate authorities. Your reports contribute to a larger effort to track and manage the spread of this invasive species.


For any concerns or questions, or if you need professional assistance, don’t hesitate to call us at (201) 822-9327. At Borst Landscape & Design, we’re committed to providing top-notch organic pest control and landscape maintenance services. Our team is equipped with the knowledge and expertise to help protect your property from spotted lanternflies and other invasive pests. Together, with your cooperation and our expertise, we can create a healthier environment and prevent the spread of this invasive threat.


Photo by Magi Kern on Unsplash