Spotted lanternfly (SLF), Lycorma delicatula, is an invasive planthopper, native to Asia, that was first detected in southeastern Pennsylvania in 2014. It feeds on and damages many plants, including economically important crops such as grapevines, hops, hardwoods, and ornamentals. If you have SLF on your property, you can use traps to kill them and possibly reduce damage to your trees. Currently, the most effective trap for SLF is a funnel style trap, called a “circle trap”, wrapped around the trunks of trees (Figure 1). SLF nymphs and adults are guided into a container at the top of the funnel as they crawl up from the ground onto the trunks and move upward to feed on the tree. Another method is to use sticky bands, which capture SLF in sticky material as they move up the tree. However, this sticky material is not selective and can capture other animals including pollinators, butterflies, birds, squirrels, and more. As such, we suggest against the use of sticky bands unless an appropriate wildlife barrier is installed around them.
Tree traps are a non-chemical method of killing, they are relatively easy to install, and they can be a good option for residential landscapes. However, there are several important things to consider when installing tree traps, especially how to avoid catching unintended, non-target creatures (e.g., bees, butterflies, and mammals), often referred to as bycatch on the sticky bands. There is no way to prevent SLF from moving on to your property, and using traps alone may not eliminate SLF. Consult the Penn State extension Spotted Lanternfly webpage for additional recommendations on management of this pest.
Continue to the full Penn State Extension article to learn more.