2022 SLF 101 Q and A

Compiled by Nancy Cusumano, Northeastern IPM Center

Q. Can the link to the interactive map be provided?

A. https://iecolab.shinyapps.io/LycormApp/
More of Matt's work https://www.iecolab.org/projects/spotted-lanternfly/

Q. Do you know if egg masses appear in black light or other color or intensities of light? Would that be a way to find them more easily?

A. I think Heather Leach tried that and they do not but I don’t think anyone has really looked systematically. The honeydew does show up strongly but we could see it well in the lab but not in the field.

A. There is only some limited evidence of just deposited and covered egg masses fluorescing while still white basically. Adults and nymphs have been observed with FLIR. Houping Liu of PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources has been working on that.

Q. How many times a year/how many locations has NY done weigh station SLF checks? Plans for 2022?

A. He would have to go back and look at the records on what we did in 2018 and 2019. As far as 2022 we are evaluating resources to see how frequently we do these roadside inspections.

Q. How much are the cost associates with canines trained and how long will it take to train them?

Q. Were there positives on the map in Erie?

A. Not yet, We do not have evidence that it has been found in Erie PA.

The current SLF the map is at https://nysipm.cornell.edu/sites/nysipm.cornell.edu/files/shared/images/SLF-reported-distribution-2-15-2022.pdf

Q. Has anyone seen egg masses on bee hives?

A. We haven't seen any in/on the 50,000 + hives that come into Maine, but of course, not all hives are inspected.

Q. Have there been any interceptions of SLF in migratory beekeeping operations? Honey bee colonies are moved all around the US.

A. This question has been answered live.

Q. Is there a place we can order materials to share at educational events? I am in WV. I got some sweet SLF coasters from an event in PA that I'd love to put in our state MG Conference goody bags.

A. Your state may have printed materials available. There are lots of on line resources in PA and NY, but you may have to print them. You can probably check through Hungry Pests too.

A. From Jennifer Forman Orth, at MD Dept Ag: My stuff is not as nice as some of the PSU Extension materials, but I also am happy to share files for anyone looking to adapt outreach for their state: https://massnrc.org/pests/slf/ (or email me at Jennifer.forman-orth@mass.gov)

A. We have a few outreach resources here in Indiana and would be happy to share them too if anyone wants them. Just contact me at barne175@purdue.edu: https://ag.purdue.edu/reportinvasive/?s=spotted+lanternfly

Q. You talked about trap trees and it seems like Tree of Heaven is a good trap tree. But a previous speaker talked about removing TOH to minimize SLF. What do you think is the best way to manage Tree of Heaven? Trap tree or destroy? I know it is a very difficult tree to kill because cutting it simply causes it to send out other trunks.

A. Killing Ailanthus is a big task, but if you can eradicate it, SLF populations should decline. After that, there are other species of tree that SLF appear to swarm on, particularly willow, which can be an effective trap tree.

A. We didn't cut the smaller ToH. We basal bark sprayed them with herbicide in order to kill them and to drive the SLF to feed on the larger ToH that we had treated with insecticide.

A. That question goes back to the point I made that you have to take into consideration the area you are in. If you don't have SLF and you have an area to protect TOH removal might be a good idea. If you have an infestation the Trap Tree would be a consideration.

A. It also matters how much Ailanthus you have. It would be very challenging for us to do Ailanthus removals in urban areas of Massachusetts, like Boston and Worcester. Too much of it. I imagine it is 10x worse in a lot of PA, which is kind of ground zero for Ailanthus

Q. Can you use male TOH treated with a systemic pesticide as a trap tree? This way you can continuously kill SLF as long as the pesticide is renewed when needed.

A. That is what the trap tree method promotes. You use the systemic once a year. We apply after the trees have finished flowering to minimize impact on pollinators.

Q. Random research idea: can ToH treated with insecticide be used to help protect sugarbushes and orchards?

A. Yes, leaving some Ailanthus trees as trap trees to be treated with a systemic insecticide can be effective in killing hundreds of Spotted Lanternflies.

Fortunately, Sugar Maple is not a preferred species for spotted lanternfly. And although apples and other fruit trees may experience swarm feeding by spotted lanternfly adults no damage has been documented in the field to apple or other fruit trees.

Q. I live in an adjacent SLF area, it's not yet here, but will be soon. I can organize volunteers to remove Tree of Heaven as a preventative, as was suggested earlier today. What do I need to know about having volunteers treat small TOH with herbicide? Are volunteers not under the Pesticide applicator license regulations? Can anyone tell me whom to ask for this information, if no one here knows.

A. You should reach out to your state department of agriculture. Applicator rules are different for each state.

Q. How much it is known of effectiveness of biological control agents against this insect?

Q. Jay what is the reporting tool base program? (e.g., Survey123?)

A. Amy, the Reporting Tool was built using ArcGIS Online, specifically using the WebApp Builder tools provided by Esri. We host the reporting tool internally at PDA and accessible via the Penn State Extension Website.

Q. Have you or any other states offered a CELL NUMBER that can accept text messages as part of your Pest Hotline? WI is also getting worried about being overwhelmed with reports, so we set up a reporting form at SLF.WI.GOV but we are also considering an alternative to the 866 number, because people like to text and send pics with reports, may not like email or leaving voicemails.

This question was answered live.

Q. Thanks for the response on the cell phone reporting question. WI also used PA/NY as a template to create our SLF reporting form at slf.wi.gov. My question was more about the potential to replace our pest hotline with a cell number over time. Not sure if we will end up doing that or not. Thanks!

A. We have used a template in survey 123- not sure if it will take a text message-I can connect you with one of our staff that has set the template up if you are interested

Here's the link to the weekly US degree-day based SLF emergence map: https://safaris.cipm.info/safarispestmodel/StartupServlet?pestcast

Q. State regulators: you can make your own account in iNaturalist and set yourself up to receive notifications of SLF or other pests being reported in your state!

Joe Collins: www.nationalplantboard.org

Q. What exactly does quarantine mean for this pest

A. there are interior and exterior QT that vary by state. Take a look at the QT section on the resources of the agenda

Q. Has anyone placed a Tree of Heaven that has been planted in a container in an infested area to see what happens as a survey tool?

A. TOH do not grow well containerized so this has not been successful.

Q. Where are folks on the ground are actually doing with TOH limbs and etc? incineration? Leaving chips on site? Mulching with them? And what are they advising to people who are choosing to take down Ailanthus in their yards?

A. Chipping to Destroy Egg Masses of the Spotted Lanternfly

Q. Tree of heaven is allelopathic - it produces chemicals that suppress nearby plants. Would chips/limbs/trunks also carry this trait? This would be problematic is the mulch was used around desirable plants.

A. Re Allelopathic wood chips, here is some research on that.

Q. Even if TOH is eliminated given that SLF feed on so many species what does that do to limit them?

A. According to this paper, SLF had a 10% higher survival rate from third instar to adulthood, reached maturity up to 10 days faster, and laid 6.8 times more eggs when given access to Ailanthus compared to those feeding on other tree species.

Q. Given that SLF prior to arriving in the US was a tropical insect, is there any research on what attributes it has that gives it the ability to live in a temperate zone? I feel the concern around invasive species is centered on how different organisms from a similar climate have an advantage in a new environment because there are no natural defenses, but SLF biology seems to throw a wrench in that.

A. This question has been answered live

Q. If I understand, the forest in the east is more deciduous, in Colorado, we already have devastation from Pine and IPS beetle, and out forest is mostly coniferous. Is there evidence they will feed on the conifers?

A. do not seem to feed on conifers

Q. Do SLF transmit Pierce's Disease?

Q. Does SLF transmit any viruses or diseases during feeding?

Q. Has there been any research as to whether or not SLF can serve as a vector for the spread of forest pathogens?

A. This question has been answered live

Q. Can chickens or guinea fowl be use for control in orchards?

A. It seems that SLF harbor compounds that make them not palatable to predators. So many things tend not to eat them. Kelli Hoover (who is presenting at the Summit) has a student looking at reports of birds feeding on SLF and she is also testing this issue of them sequestering noxious compounds.

Q. Is that frothy substance from weeping and honeydew found on any host tree or just Ailanthus?

A. It is found on Ailanthus and also another Asian tree (Chinaberry I think it was). But that is something I asked people to look for me, and to date, seems just Ailanthus plus that one species.

Q. Do the adults SLF over winter?

A. They do not - the adults die off by the first frost, and the population overwinters as eggs.

Q. Are there outdoor temperatures lantern fly can’t survive?

A. Yes they slow way down in cooler weather and are killed by heavy frost. they do not overwinter as adults but die off in fall and overwinter only as egg masses

Q. I should have asked are there temperatures the eggs can’t survive?

A. From the South Korean literature, they collected eggs from SLF in different sites with differing minimum temps and found lower hatch rate (higher mortality) in eggs exposed to lower temps. So it does have an effect. Extrapolating from those data, there were early estimates that you’d need to hit an average monthly temperature below -13.9C to get mortality low enough to suggest SLF would not be able to establish in an area.

Q. I know during the winter as the temp drops the adults die but has any research been done regarding at what temp the egg masses die off?

A. From the South Korean literature, they collected eggs from SLF in different sites with differing minimum temps and found lower hatch rate (higher mortality) in eggs exposed to lower temps. So it does have an effect. Extrapolating from those data, there were early estimates that you’d need to hit an average monthly temperature below -13.9C to get mortality low enough to suggest SLF would not be able to establish in an area.

A. Yes, there was info from Korea early on that was used to produce an analysis of ~ -14C as an average minimum daily temperature for the month of January for complete mortality of egg masses. It is not a matter of dropping to a certain temp overnight or for shorter periods of time to impact the eggs. Plus of course there are other factors as far as how exposed the egg masses are and what other factors such as snow act as an insulator.

Q. Have the effects on hops also been found to be minimal? What about hemp?

A. Yes, effects on hops minimal but there have been some (handful) of reports of effects. We caged SLF on hops in our trials to see if they will 1) survive (i.e., feed enough to survive) and 2) damage the hops plant. When we did this with 4th instars, they didn’t really do damage. But last year with adults, they did do damage and they survived. We were “forcing” them to feed on hops, but there were some naturally occurring SLF on the hops vines feeding before we started the study. So we are continuing to work on this. No reports or studies on hemp to date.

Q. Can the Grape and Apple Orchards be used as SLF Trapping sites where no tree of heaven is found?

A. Potentially, except we would not want to draw them into the valuable crops. We have tried to bring in potted tree of heaven to draw SLF away from a vineyard, but needs to be further tested.

Q. Has it been found that SLF feeding causes economic injury to apples?

A. Answered live – it has so far not caused economic injury to apples

Q. If it doesn't feed on conifers, how is it affecting Christmas trees?

A. SLF lays its eggs anywhere, and on Christmas trees too.

Q. Are native grape (winter or summer) being used as a host plant

A. Oh yes.

Q. What is the likely hood of Lanternfly moving into the Finger Lakes grape growing region of New York State?

A. SLF are already in Broome county. It is just a matter of time until they are here.

Q. Is there any evidence on them feeding on citrus, and can it spread HLB

A. No evidence to date on citrus. My lab and folks in California are looking at whether they can feed on other specialty crops, and there is a plan to test them on citrus. And there is no evidence of being able to carry HLB.

Q. Do we know yet how they affect Muscadine grapes?

A. And to follow up again, Thomas, one of the things that has been challenging is that it is tough to get permission to do these studies in actual vineyards (a lot done on potted plants) b/c the feeding kills the vines. Michela Centinari’s physiology study was done in a hobbyist’s vineyard where he let us cage them on grapes for multiple years.

Q. Has degree of damage to muscadine been determined to be similar to other grapes??

A. I don’t think believe anyone has tested Muscadine grapes yet. Concord were tested some, but mostly work has focused on varieties grown in southeast PA (i.e., Chardonnay and others). But good question. And I don’t know if maybe folks at Virginia Tech (one of our collaborating institutions on our USDA NIFA grant) are looking at muscadine. I will ask them.

Q. Have we seen any real detrimental damage to vineyards or berry orchards in the US so far? I have been to 3 TDYs for SLF and did not observe a lot of damage, but I did observe the lifestages on Walnut trees and other plants, but not any real damage in my personal experiences?

A. Yes, to vineyards. I showed some photos in my presentation that were damage due to SLF. And Michela Centinari will be presenting data concerning how SLF feeding at different densities impacts sugar, photosynthesis, root starches, physical damage from mouthparts. Not to date in berry orchards. SLF distributions are extremely patchy, even areas in or near the center of quarantine zones. A lot of vineyards don’t have damage but some do.

Q. Is the SLF 'collapse' you refer to, also relevant to vineyards that have been infested...or do they hang around there?

A. We are seeing numbers drop in vineyards too. In the one I showed near Allentown, the numbers dropped very significantly this year. More did come back in in mid-October. But we will be monitoring what it looks like there this coming year.

Q. My burning question is what could we have done earlier so that eradication might have been possible? At what moment do you suppose we passed that possibility? Was it before the insect was detected?

A. That is the million dollar question. I don’t know when that window closed. In reports from people near the site of introduction and finds of old egg masses, it was here 1-2 years before it was detected. This is what is so challenging about trying to figure out what has happened when one pops up in other disjunct areas.

Q. Is it possible that the population crash has to do with the fungi that attack them?

A. Seems unlikely b/c we don’t see cadavers with fungus. People are on the lookout for those — I think there is a “Wanted” poster or flyer on our StopSLF.org site from collaborators at Cornell who have asked to have people report or send in fungus-infected SLF.

How much it is known of effectiveness of biological control agents against this insect?

Q. Words of wisdom: as you are out inspecting, if you find a population of "sick" SLF, don't kill them just yet. Capture them and/or contact a research lab - maybe, just maybe, we can find something to help our fight.

A. This is a great comment. USDA-APHIS-PPQ is still working hard to find biocontrols for SLF and any fungus or parasitism found in the field may be extremely beneficial to the development for control options.

Q. What's the current thought about the Kansas State Fair insect collection where the child submitted a dead SLF they found? Is it in Kansas and they just don't know it yet?

A. I don’t know that there was a definitive answer to that one. It is not known to be established at present in Kansas.

A. I'm checking with KS on this...my understanding is that it did not lead to an infestation detection, but they used it as an education and outreach opportunity. Follow-up surveys are planned over the next few years.

A. Scott and Julie are correct. We surveyed but did not find additional insects or egg masses.

Q. I am in the field all winter long scraping egg masses. I have noticed that egg masses seem more concentrated on the south side. My colleagues and i came up with 3 possible explanations: 1. eggs are laid on the south side to ensure early hatching, early feeding and greater chance of survival; 2. the egg masses are from late layers and the north side is just too cold; and 3. the south side is brighter and they are just easier to identify than the north side. Opinions?

A. Thank you for sharing this insight! My intuition based on models, is that it has to do with keeping eggs warm to increase developmental rate. One of the issues we are dealing with in the model is that air temperature data during the winter are often cooler than what is experienced by the egg mass. Microclimate may matter a lot to eggs during the winter. Just a couple of degrees warmer can make a large difference cumulatively in when they are able to hatch.

Q. For NY: About how many permitting “blitzes” would you conduct pre v. post becoming infested?

A. I would concentrate them pre-infestation- trying to delay establishment- however we also have a responsibility not to send it along to the next location

Q. Chris mentioned that NY was finding them at the spots were people would go to for recreation, were they predominately found on TOH?

A. Mostly on TOH but as you get more experienced you will see the egg stages in many different locations

Q. Any plans to follow the NASCAR circuit and inspect trucks & equipment?

A. Yes, states have been reaching out to NASCAR sponsors in their states as well as large sporting and music venues.

Q. Do state fairs seem to be a pathway?

A. I would say anywhere you see an influx of large groups of people that may be coming from out of state or across your state, would make great candidates.

We found a positive at a rest stop near one of Virginia's largest farmer's markets.

Q. With being close to RI do you see the spread moving quickly because of tourist beach traffic?

A. I think any destination where vehicles are coming from an infested area and staying for a decent amount of time is at risk. But in MA, for now, the infestations are not in residential areas. We have absorbed some of the language we have seen in other outreach regarding parking of vehicles under trees in known infested areas and are using that in our infested municipalities.

Q. Is anyone doing SLF outreach for the Disabled Hockey Festival that is being held in Pittsburgh PA April 7-10 & 21-24? Athletes, equipment vans, visitors will be coming from all over the USA to participate. My son and I will be traveling there and I have not seen any material yet.

Q. Any thoughts on prevention, any steps taken, with respect to not importing more bad bugs from China? For example, are we still importing landscaping stone from China? That seems like an unnecessary risk with huge consequences.

A. SLF is a quarantine pest at the ports of entry and when found on cargo and conveyances, remedial actions such as treatment, re-export, or destruction of cargo are possible to prevent the insect entering the US. However, there is no surveillance system that can inspect all cargo and conveyances entering the US.

A. Since this is not a federally regulated pest there are no restrictions regarding SLF on imported stone that I have ever seen.

Q. What can we use in the field to eliminate?

A. Check with your cooperative extension staff in your state- we have many states represented here and the rules associated with control/management vary.

Q. Railroad car storage areas might be a good place to trap if they would give us maps of where these areas are located.

A. I would agree. This trapping method and location has given us good finds faster than windshields or at other type of locations.

Getting access to RR tracks and adjacent areas has been problematic in some states and is an ongoing issue.

This is very true and the same for us. A recommendation for a work around is to work with your state department of transportation. We have a permit through them to survey for SLF along right of ways, most of which allow access to land close enough to the rail for meaningful trapping.

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Q. Where can I learn more about this “adopt a grid” surveillance program in NY???

A. Sara- send me an email and I can connect you with the staff person here that is working on that project. christopher.logue@agriculture.ny.gov

Q. Jay what is the reporting tool base program? (e.g., Survey123?)

Is the report form a Survey 123 form?

A. Gary, more or less, yes. We build the Reporting Tool and Form in ArcGIS Online using the WebApp Builder tools that ESRI supplies. Likely it was based on Survey123.

Amy, we used ArcGIS Online (the WebApp Builder Programs) to build the reporting tool.

would that be Field Maps?

We'll be switching to Field Maps for our visual surveys and treatments for 2022, but the tool was built using ArcGIS Online, and is hosted internally at PDA and accessible via the Penn State Extension Website.

Q. Are grants still available to help support call centers?

A. I'll be providing information about Plant Protection Act Section 7721 funding in the next talk. More information can be found here: https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/resources/ppa-projects

Q. Do you have any data on the efficacy of the printed materials?

A. This question has been answered live

Q. Have you started to get any negative press regarding use of the terms like “invader” or “invasive” or any other language that could be construed to be anti immigrant, etc.?

A. This question has been answered live

Q. How long does it take for newly hatched nymphs to turn black?

A. From Julie Urban: About an hour—I haven’t sat there and watched myself firsthand in a while, but have seen a mix of black, gray and white ones from the same egg mass at the same time (degree of synchrony in emergence is a function of incubation temp which is really interesting). But my estimate would be you’re talking on the order of about one hour.

Q. What is the process for a state getting added to the operational EA?

A. This question has been answered live

A. The other states could do their own EA and likely FONSI in the meantime. States can use their own funds for treatment as long as they follow their own regulations and EPA label requirements.

Q. Is VA on the EA?

A. Yes.

Q. Have we observed any resistance in SLF to any active ingredients?

A. We have not observed any resistance with any of the current active ingredients.

Q. Dana could you share the info w us about how the governor funds an emergency fund for response to new invasives? We have a really bad invader in No VA for about 10 yr now and we could eradicate before it gets to the rest of North America . . .

A. Sara, I would contact Dana directly for this, at danrhodes@pa.gov

Q. Here in the District of Columbia we function as a city/state. We don't have a Dept. of Ag, nor do we have extension that can respond to SLF. Are there any specific resources for SLF response in cities/urban areas?

A. We can discuss that and we should. PPA 7721 would also be your avenue for funding . . .

Q. Have any states reached directly out to City Operations Staff? If so, what was the response?

A. We work with several different associations for cities, townships, counties, etc. Some have been very supportive in working management into their programs.