As you probably know by now Spotted Lanterfly is an ongoing problem in our area. It is killing our plants, including our precious grapes (Nooo, don't take our wine!!!) So what have we learned in the past couple of years of dealing with this issue?
Penn State Extension is working diligently with research and development on the issue. In August Penn State released some research about some fungi that are able to kill the Lanternfly naturally.
Why take advantage of naturally occurring solutions? Because we don't have to rely on harsh chemicals that can have adverse effects on bees. This is important to us at County Line as we are committed to the environment. It will take some time before the research turns into a marketable product, so we can't get too excited just yet.
What can you do now?
In early spring you will see grey egg masses on trees, other natural surfaces or unnatural surfaces such as vehicles. That is why it's so important to check your vehicle before leaving a quarantined area such as ours. With those egg masses, you should scrape them off with an old credit card or something of the like, submerge in alcohol or vinegar, or just tie them up inside a bag and trash it.
The next stage we'll see starting around May will be the young nymph stage. They will crawl up the trees. One treatment would be Fertilome's Fruit Tree Spray concentrate with Neem Py or the ready-to-spray Fertilome Triple Action Plus with Neem. We use these products for a ton of issues you might encounter in plants. This is an environmentally safer product when used properly.
Another method would be a sticky tape that can wrapped around the tree to catch the Lanterflies as they crawl over the surface. We use Dalen Protective Tree Wrap and Treekote Tree BandingGum. It's important to note that you should create a safety chicken wire cage to protect other wildlife from becoming attached if you're using this technique.
At the end of the summer into fall we'll see the adult Lanterflies. They are not great fliers, but they are fast! If you see one, squish it! Perhaps it can help with stress release? Make it a game. See who can get the most! There's even an app called Squishr where you can compete against other people!
Think you've got what it takes to get a top score??
Systemic methods are a last resort as these chemicals will kill all bugs that feed on the tree, good or bad. If you go this route, we recommend only in the fall when the trees are done flowering and attracting pollinators quite as much. But be warned that some systemics claim to last 12 months, so some may still be a problem in spring.
Houseplants continue to grow in popularity. More people want to merge the outdoors with their inside sanctuary. The most popular houseplants have big, showy leaves, unique leaf shapes, and colorful, variegated patterns. Here are a few of what we expect to be our biggest sellers this season:
All of you plant moms and plant dads, which one of these beauties would you take home? Me, i'll take 1 (or maybe 3) of each! I'm working on creating my own "urban jungle".
What's that, you ask? Basically a space in your home that's overrun with houseplants. Sound familiar? You may have your own urban jungle and don't even know it! Does that make us the monkeys?
Marietta has been writing about garden related subjects for 9 years.