Over the past few years spotted lanternflies have created many problems for our trees, plants, and more. No matter what we do there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight. 2020 has already been a whirlwind of issues, we don’t need spotted lanternflies having another year of taking over our foliage. With that being said, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. After struggling with getting rid of these annoying bugs, we finally have a solution that might just work this time.
In China, where the spotted lanternflies originated, as well as India and other indigenous parts, there is a species of wasp that might be what we’ve been needing this entire time. Understandably, about 60% of you reading this just cringed and are tempted to click away. Yes, wasps are kind of gross and a little scary to look at. However, this special wasp makes hunting down spotted lanternflies a sport and they don’t do it kindly. They do a few very important things. They will:
- Lay eggs inside the nymphs, or the babies of the spotted lanternflies.
- New baby wasps devour the nymphs from the inside out
Unfortunately, nothing can be done about the adults at the moment, but just diminishing the population starting with it’s young is a big step in the right direction. The USDA is still figuring out the details of exactly how the wasps will perform their job. Currently, they have two types of wasps they can work with.
One of the wasps will be focused on destroying the eggs while the other one goes after the nymphs. They will look different from the paper wasps, hornets, and yellow jackets that we’re used to seeing. One additional plus for us, is that these new wasps won’t have any interest in humans. Their main life cycle focus will be the destruction of the spotted lanternflies. At the moment, it will be a few years before the wasps can be released, but it’s great knowing that this is a solution to getting rid of these aggravating, destructive bugs.