Spotted Lanternfly and figs

I’ve been talking to a few others in the general area about these nasties. It seems as though they have a particular interest in figs. The figs seem ok at this time but having that many of these pests sucking away at them can’t be good! Anyone out there with tips on controlling these? I’m stuck walking around the yard and spraying whatever spotted lanternflies I see with permethrin. It’s a very tedious job.

There were only a couple seen around my house last year but there are hoards now :cold_sweat:


I haven’t seen these guy here yet in Omaha. Thanks goodness. I probably will use my hand held Dyson to suck them in the vacuum.


Oh geez, I’ve seen about that many so far, total. Been looking for the sticky bands to put around the few TOH trees in the area but nobody seems to have them. Guess I will use tanglefoot. Would be a lot of work on multi trunk figs though.


I saw a video of an entomologist explaining that SLF is attracted to trees with high turgor pressure–in other words high vigor trees, more bang for the buck for their feeding. One thing figs have going for them is no external blossoms/no danger to pollinators for systemic insectides, especially if you could deliver via drip.

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Yikes! This is one of those posts you hate to hit the like button on. We need more options like horror, disgust and dread.

I have no solutions for you, but please keep us advised how things go through the season and if you find an effective way to deal with them. A few hours to your south we know it is only a matter of time since they’ve already been sighted nearby.

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Same here, I am only an hour south of Lancaster. I am hoping all my sprays for moths is also making these guys decide there is better territory than my yard…

@hoosierbanana Tanglefoot sounds like a good idea. Ahmad suggested that I try it since it works for other crawling insects like ants. I’m just concerned that they’ll hop over any barriers. They seem to reproduce very quickly. I only saw a couple last year; now, they’re everywhere! EDIT: You are right about tanglefoot being a hassle for multi trunk trees. I’ve got 8 in the ground and most have at least 10 trunks. Potted trees are less of an issue

@DCinFLX The attraction to high vigor trees makes sense. I do notice them concentrated on young, juicy stalks. They have little interest in old wood.

Let’s hope an effective biological control comes along soon that can self perpetuate in the environment. Walking around with a spray bottle of permethrin and spraying the ones I see every few days is very tedious! Permetrin mostly works but doesn’t kill them as fast as carbaryl (not my preferred choice).

Here is what I observed in terms of how attractive certain plants are to these pests:

Figs - swarms!
Plums - one plums has some, yet another has none.
Peach - none!
Pears - a few
Blueberries - a few
Raspberries - a few
Blackberries - more than raspberries, especially on new canes
Jujubes - none!
Persimmons - 1 or 2
Pawpaws - 1 or 2
Haskaps - none!
Currants and gooseberries - none!
Elderberries - a few here and there

They don’t seem to bother many vegetables. French sorrel flower stalks are infested though.


I was told they don’t actually suck out the sap, their proboscis uses the natural phloem pressure as its method of delivery. Grapes are very high on their preferred diet. One very knotty problem for the commercial growers is that by relying on insectides for control they’re likely to face resistance issues. And using the two fungi shown to be effective against SLF will be tricky because of how susceptible grapes are to mildews (i.e. they spray a lot of fungicides).