The Spotted Lanternfly was first detected in Berks County, PA during September 2014. Since then, Bucks, Chester, and Montgomery Counties have been added to the list of quarantined areas.
The pest is a planthopper native to China, India, and Vietnam. Unfortunately, in 2019, it’s still plaguing Southeastern PA.
What is Being Done to Combat the Infestation
Penn State University is leading the charge on Spotted Lanternfly Research. Meanwhile, the USDA and PA Department of Agriculture are targetting the locations where the insect has been spotted.
The PA Department of Agriculture starts by targeting the perimeters of areas where the insects have been seen, before working in toward the heart of the problem.
Removing the insect requires a combination of physical removal and pesticides.
What You Can Do to Protect Your Yard
Mr. Tree is urging residents of the Greater Philadelphia region to be on the lookout for the Tree of Heaven (Ailianthus altissima). This tree is sometimes called the Paradise Tree, but it is not aptly named. It is a rapidly growing tree that is a breeding ground and food source for the Spotted Lanternfly.
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is currently calling for the eradication of the Tree of Heaven and Spotted Lanternfly. The pest poses a significant threat to the grape, apple, stone fruit, and timber industries in Pennsylvania.
How to Spot a Tree of Heaven
The Tree of Heaven has recently been seen in the suburbs of Philadelphia. If you have one on your property, it is crucial that you get it removed as quickly as possible. Be on the lookout for trees that have:
- Large, palm-like leaves, up to three feet long.
- Leaves that have a rancid smell when crushed. Many say the smell is similar to burnt or spoiled peanut butter.
- Smooth, gray bark.
- Yellow-green flowers on the end of shoots that bloom during the summer.
- Papery, tan to red seed pods that turn brown and fall off during autumn.
The tree commonly grows along highways or in disturbed areas, but it could also take up residence in your yard.
Check out this video from Penn State for an overview of why the Tree of Heaven Matters:
Call Mr. Tree if You Have a Tree of Heaven in Your Yard
Mr. Tree can remove your Tree of Heaven and help ensure that you won’t have an infestation of Spotted Lanternflies on your property. If you see this tree on your yard, contact us online or call 484-999-0040. It’s important to have a tree professional handle this tree because it is known to regenerate quickly if not properly taken care of.
If you see a spotted lanternfly, click here to report it.