Spotted lanternflies (Lycorma delicatula) have been rapidly spreading across the northeastern United States, causing significant damage to crops and trees. In response, the USDA and researchers have been investigating effective methods for controlling their population growth.
Our recent study has revealed that a multiscale approach is necessary for spotted lanternfly control, with unique strategies needed for locating egg masses at sites and on trees that vary in invasion duration. We found that at younger sites at the invasion edge, managers should expect patchy colonization of sites, yet when a site is colonized, many trees will have egg masses. In contrast, older sites at the invasion core are more likely to have egg masses present, yet often at a lower density, which may make them difficult to find on individual trees.
Our findings highlight the importance of tailoring spotted lanternfly control methods to specific locations and stages of invasion. By using a multiscale approach, managers can more effectively locate and remove egg masses, thereby reducing the spread of these damaging pests.
Multiscale investigations of habitat associations would likely inform the control of other incipient invasive species as well. This underscores the need for ongoing research into effective control strategies for invasive species and the critical role of habitat management in preventing their spread.
By understanding the unique characteristics of different invasion sites, managers can develop targeted strategies for locating and removing egg masses, ultimately reducing the impact of this destructive pest.