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New Invasive Pest
Photo by Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture.

New Invasive Pest

Spotted Lanternfly

The spotted lanternfly, Lycorma delicatula, is an invasive plant hopped native to China, Vietnam, and India.  First located and identified in Berks County, Pennsylvania, September 2014, the lanterfly continued to spread across the eastern United States.  


These insects cause physical damage to their host tree/plant, and secrete a sticky substance called 'honeydew' that spreads underneath the surface of the attacked host.  This substance will attract and encourage the growth of black mold and result in dirty appearing patio furniture and other infrastructures.  

Damage to Trees

Known for producing heavy volumes of sticky honeydew on the surfaces below trees, this can weaken the tree itself, causing wounds and leaving the tree vulnerable to other pest attacks and disease. The 'Tree of Heaven', Ailanthus altissima, is their favorite host tree, spotted lanternfly adults have been known to feed on over 70+ species of plants, trees, shrubs, and agricultural crops! (On the Tree of Heaven, the host tree will typically die 2-4 years after the initial attack).

Adults and nymphs' feed on sap from leaves and stems of their host plant. This can cause "oozing" wounds on your plants, and even produce a foul odor. An infested tree may exhibit signs of weeping wounds that appear as a dark, gray trail along the trunk. Adults will lay eggs on any smooth surface like rocks, sidings, or bricks which make them extremely easy to spread. If left unchecked, this pest can result in major decline of many ornamental trees. These smooth gray egg masses can also be seen on the trunk of the tree or host plant.

Reducing the Spread & Protect Your Trees
(Photo Credit: Heather Leach, Penn State Extension.)

Reducing the Spread & Protect Your Trees

Adults are easiest to spot at duck when they congregate together on host plants.  They can be seen moving up and down the tree in unison.  If you see a spotted lanternfly or notice egg masses similar to what was described above, best course of action is to contact your local Extension agency OR your State Plant Regulatory Office.

Steps for Proper Egg Removal:

  1. Scrape them off
  2. Double bag remnants removed
  3. Throw them away or soak them in alcohol

(Look on any smooth surface such as trailers, siding, brick, stone, even your car and especially on the bark of host plants!)

What is Transtect and What are the Benefits?

Transtect is a soil applied, systemic insecticide that provides season long control of a broad spectrum of pests. Due to its unique properties, it can be used for a variety of solutions when fast results are needed. It can also be applied in variety of ways including, (but not limited to): soil injection, soil drench and systemic basal bark spray. All application methods will yield similar results.

Transtect 70 WSP Insecticide has been approved in Ohio to be used as Basal Trunk Spray for Control of Spotted Laternfly on Tree-of-Heaven

  • Use 6 - 12 (0.6 oz) packets = (3.6 – 7.2 oz) of Transtect 70 WSP Insecticide per gallon of water.
  • Depending on bark type and thickness, 1 gal of spray solution will typically cover 65-85 inches of trunk diameter (1.5 – 2.0 fl oz per inch of trunk diameter)

Application Instructions

  •  Apply when trees are actively growing and transporting water.
  •  Apply with a low volume sprayer operated at 10 to 20 PSI to prevent tree damage, bounce back and drift.
  •  Target trees with a diameter-at-breast height (DBH) of ≥ 10 inches.
  •  Spray bark on root flare (buttress roots) and on trunk between soil surface and 4 to 5 feet above the soil surface. Adjust nozzle to uniformly distribute spray over the entire circumference of the tree trunk and buttress roots. Wet bark just to the point of saturation and run off. Do not allow runoff onto the soil.  


  •  Do not apply directly to the soil.
  •  Do not apply directly to any plant species other than Tree-of-Heaven. 
  • Do not apply to rain saturated bark, during rainfall, or if significant rainfall is expected within 12 hours after application.
  • Do not make more than 1 application per tree per year.
  •  Do not apply more than 2.31 lb (1.62 lb ai) per acre per year.