The Surprising Connection Between Spotted Lanternflies and Wasps

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If you have spent any time in Lancaster County over the past 3 summers, you’ve seen them: the beautiful yet annoying spotted lanternfly. An invasive species that is not native to this area, spotted lanternflies came from the Allentown area and have been growing in population every year. 

Not only are lanternflies a nuisance to all who walk and run in Lancaster, but they also damage and kill trees across the county. More than that, the rise of spotted lanternflies is causing an alarming rise in a more dangerous insect: wasps. 


What’s the Connection Between Spotted Lanternflies and Wasps? 

As part of their lifecycle, spotted lanternflies feed on the sap of trees; the most common trees they target are maple and tree of heaven. This feeding can disrupt the tree’s photosynthesis, which is the tree’s primary source of energy. As they feed, the lanternflies secrete honeydew, a sticky liquid that’s left on the tree. When this honeydew rots, it turns into sooty mold, which can harm and even kill the tree. 

Since honeydew is rich in sugars, it is a popular food source for wasps. As the lanternfly population has increased, that has given local wasps more than enough food to grow and expand. And we have seen this firsthand: the number of calls for wasp treatments has risen dramatically over the last 3 years, likely due to the correlated increase in spotted lanternflies. 


Treating for Spotted Lanternfly

Akita Pest Control - Lancaster, PaThere are a few ways to protect your trees & property from spotted lanternflies. The most common tactic is to install sticky banding on the trees; these are designed to stop the spotted lanternflies from crawling up the tree trunk and getting to the top. You should be careful with the banding, as it can also unintentionally catch beneficial insects, birds, and squirrels as well. One way to prevent this is to add wire mesh around the banding so that these animals don’t get caught on the glue band. 

There is now a certified spotted lanternfly treatment for trees that stop adults from laying eggs and prevent more from coming to your tree. During late spring through summer, we recommend a root treatment soil injection as prevention, while in the summer and fall months we can apply a surface treatment to your plant to eliminate the climbers. 

Finally, if you see the egg masses anywhere on your trees in the summer or fall months, we recommend you scrape them off and destroy them. That will prevent the next generation from attacking your plants. 


Treating for Wasps

Akita Pest Control - Lancaster, PaUnlike spotted lanternflies, which are harmless to humans, wasps and other stinging insects are very aggressive and dangerous. This is especially the case when you are trying to eliminate their home, which can be in a tree, in the ground, or any man-made object like a car, shed, or home. When wasps feel threatened, they attack. If you disrupt their home, they may also move it to a more unwelcome place – like the walls of your home. 

The best option for removing wasps is to call a professional, who will rely on specialized equipment and training to safely eradicate them from your property.


Don’t Mess Around with DIY Pest Control

Whether you are trying to protect your trees from spotted lanternflies or getting rid of a wasp nest, don’t mess around with doing it yourself. Over-the-counter pest control treatments are not as effective as professional options; at best you will claim a temporary break from the pests, at worst you will have a very angry swarm on your hands. Contact Lancaster’s trusted pest control company to handle your pest problem right the first.


*Blog post submitted by Akita Pest Control


Akita Pest Control

1604 Lititz Pike
Lancaster, PA 17601

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