If you live in an area where spotted lanternflies are a problem, you may be wondering how to get rid of these invasive pests that can damage your plants and trees.
Spotted lanternflies are native to Asia, but they have been spreading across the eastern U.S. since 2014, posing a threat to the fruit, wine, logging, and Christmas tree industries. They feed on a variety of host plants, such as grape vines, pine, apple, and maple, and they produce a sticky substance called honeydew that attracts other insects and molds.
Controlling the Spread
One way to control spotted lanternflies is to use a spray that can kill them on contact or deter them from feeding on your plants. There are some commercial products available, such as Ortho® BugClear™ Insect Killer for Lawns & Landscapes Ready-To-Spray, that are effective against spotted lanternflies.
However, you can also make your own homemade spray using natural ingredients that you may already have at home.
Homemade Mix Recipe
A simple homemade spotted lanternfly spray is to mix equal parts of water and vinegar in a spray bottle. Vinegar is acidic and can disrupt the pH balance of the insects’ bodies, causing them to die or avoid the sprayed areas . You can spray this solution directly on any spotted lanternflies you see, or use it as a deterrent on your plants and trees.
Be careful not to spray too much vinegar on your plants, as it can also harm them if applied excessively.
Another homemade spotted lanternfly spray is to mix dish soap and apple cider vinegar in water. Dish soap can suffocate the insects by breaking down their protective wax coating, while apple cider vinegar can repel them with its strong smell and taste.
A suggested ratio is to use one tablespoon of dish soap and one cup of apple cider vinegar per gallon of water. You can spray this solution on the spotted lanternflies or on the plants they feed on.
Homemade spotted lanternfly sprays are easy to make and use, but they may not be enough to eliminate a large infestation. If you have a serious problem with spotted lanternflies, you may need to use other methods of control, such as removing their egg masses, trapping them with sticky bands, or contacting a professional pest control service.
You should also report any sightings of spotted lanternflies to your local university extension or state plant regulatory official, as they are tracking the spread and impact of this invasive species.