Spotted lanternflies are spreading into Virginia. These flying pests destroy important crops and have been known to devastate whole tree plantations, farms, and vineyards. Originally detected in 2014 in Pennsylvania, spotted lanternflies are native to Asia and likely made their way to the U.S. as egg masses on imported goods. Currently Pennsylvania and other surrounding states are implementing management strategies to try to keep these pests controlled. While no spotted lanternflies have been detected here on Fort Belvoir, the Director of Public Works Environmental Division is asking everyone to lend a helping hand. Here’s what you can do to help: Learn how to identify spotted lanternflies When learning to identify spotted lanternflies, it is helpful to know their life cycle compared to the time of year. Eggs are laid in fall and hatch in spring. Egg masses are laid on hard surfaces and covered with a mud-like substance to protect them. Spotted lanternfies go through four nymph stages before becoming adults. Only the adults can fly.
Check vehicles, equipment and property Help prevent the spread of spotted lanternflies by checking cars, recreational vehicles, boats and equipment for the pests, especially when traveling from the southeastern Pennsylvania or Winchester, Va. area. Remember to look for egg masses from the late fall to early spring and adults and nymphs during all other times of the year. Egg masses can hide underneath cars, in wheel wells, and on any other hard surfaces. If you find an egg mass on your property, scrape the egg mass off the surface with a plastic card into a bag or container filled with rubbing alcohol or hand sanitizer. Dispose of the container with the egg mass still submerged in the solution. If you believe you have nymphs on a tree on your property, you can band the tree with tape to collect nymphs. Place the tape around the tree, sticky side out, and use pushpins to hold the tape in place.
Report sightings If you believe you have seen spotted lanternfly egg masses, nymphs, or adults on Fort Belvoir, report your sighting to DPW Environmental by contacting installation forester Brice Bartley at 703-806-4142. Take a photo of the insect, if possible, for species identification and report the time, day, and location of the sighting. If you believe you have seen spotted lanternflies outside of Fort Belvoir, contact your closest Cooperative Extension to report the sighting.
What is DPW Environmental doing? DPW Environmental Division is monitoring the spotted lanternfly problem closely. Staff members are trained to recognize this species and have planned actions if the species is detected. DPW Environmental has also removed the invasive tree-of-heaven plant, which are known host plants of the spotted lanternfly. Follow Fort Belvoir Environmental Division at www.facebook.com/ FortBelvoirEnvironmental/