Spotted Lanternflies Stand No Chance Against Two Items You Already Have In The Kitchen

Spotted lanternflies, SLF for short, are an invasive species that threaten our native agriculture. Stomping, squishing, and swatting lanternflies are part of our due diligence, as the species does not have a natural predator in the United States. However, you can make a homemade spray that does the job without getting bug guts under your shoe. Dish soap and vinegar are two items you already have in your kitchen that help eliminate this dotted problem.

The flies feed on plants throughout their life cycle, meaning they cause harm to our ecosystem from cradle to grave. They feast on maple, black walnut, birch, willow, oak, pine, poplar, and sycamore trees. They also cause leaves to wilt and die. After these insects fill up on our native foliage, they excrete what's called honeydew, which encourages black mold growth, another substance harmful to plants. Luckily, these DIY pesticides are easy to make and effective.

Use dish soap or vinegar as a pesticide

A mixture of equal parts dish soap and water creates an effective substance to eliminate spotted lanternflies. The dish detergent kills the SLF on contact. The sticky viscosity of the soap helps to drown the insects. It is critical to only use this spray directly on the lanternflies. You can harm native insects, wildlife, and plants if sprayed excessively or in areas where the SLF is not present. If the soap-water mixture is spritzed onto a plant, wipe the solution off with a cloth to prevent damage.

Vinegar is also a common household ingredient that will repel bugs naturally. There is no need to dilute the vinegar, as the more potent it is, the better it will be as an insecticide. Fill a bottle with the acid and spray the liquid directly onto the SLF. It works to eliminate the flies in their young and adult stages. Vinegar is deadly to foliage, so you should not spray it onto plants or trees. Although, stopping these pests before they hatch is the ultimate way to halt their invasion.

How to get rid of spotted lanternfly eggs

From later summer to early winter, the spotted lanternflies are creating their army for next spring. Tree trunks are a popular place for the female SLF to lay eggs, creating masses of around 30 to 50 spawns. The laid eggs can vary from yellow to brown and range in number of rows. Eliminating the clusters in one sweep is easier than spraying 50 jumping lantern flies.

The same dish soap-water mixture that kills the adult flies can be used on the masses. Spray it directly onto the cluster before using a credit card to scrape the eggs into a bag and discard them in the trash. Scraped eggs tossed onto the floor may still have the ability to hatch. It is essential to sterilize the eggs with the spray first. You can also fill the bag with soapy water and add a few drops of hand sanitizer, then pick the masses off into the pool to drown them before discarding.