Will Neem Oil Kill Spotted Lanternfly? The Key Facts

Spotted lanternflies are a growing problem in many areas of the United States, and homeowners are looking for effective ways to eliminate these pests.

One popular solution is neem oil, a natural pesticide derived from the seeds of the Neem tree. But will neem oil really kill spotted lanternflies?

In this article, we’ll explore the effectiveness of neem oil as a method for controlling these invasive insects. We’ll also provide tips on how to identify and eradicate spotted lanternflies from your property.

So, if you’re dealing with a spotted lanternfly infestation, keep reading to learn more about this natural pest control solution.

Will Neem Oil Kill Spotted Lanternfly?

The short answer is yes, neem oil can kill spotted lanternflies. Neem oil is a natural fungicide and pesticide that becomes active when ingested by insects like the spotted lanternfly. It works by inhibiting the pests’ ability to feed, eventually leading to starvation and death.

However, it’s important to note that neem oil does not kill spotted lanternfly nymphs or adults immediately. The process takes some time to impact their eating abilities, so they will be unable to feed and eventually die.

To use neem oil as a spotted lanternfly control method, you can make a simple homemade spray by combining 4 teaspoons of neem oil with 2 teaspoons of liquid soap and a gallon of water in a spray bottle. The solution should be sprayed directly onto the pests.

There are also commercially available products that contain neem oil, or you can hire a pest control professional to apply it for you.

What Are Spotted Lanternflies And Why Are They A Problem?

Spotted lanternflies are an invasive species of insect that have become a major problem in the United States, particularly in the eastern states. They are known for swarming into neighborhoods and covering trees, plants, and other outdoor items. The insects are excellent hitchhikers and can easily be moved if no one is looking. This makes it important to inspect vehicles, trailers, and any outdoor items before moving them around or out of a quarantine zone.

The spotted lanternfly feeds on the sap of trees and plants, causing damage to their bark and leaves. This can weaken the host plant and make it more susceptible to diseases and other pests. Additionally, the insects excrete a sugary substance called honeydew, which attracts other pests like ants and wasps. The honeydew can also cause a black mold to grow on the plants, further damaging them.

The spotted lanternfly is difficult to control because it has no natural predators in the United States. While efforts are being made to control their spread, including quarantines and eradication programs, it’s important for individuals to do their part in preventing the spread of these pests. Inspecting your own property and community for possible spotted lanternfly life stages and destroying any egg masses before they hatch can help reduce populations. It’s also important to report any sightings outside of quarantined counties so that treatment can be implemented where necessary.

In addition to neem oil, there are other methods for controlling spotted lanternflies, including spraying with insecticidal soap or using a gun that shoots table salt at close range. However, it’s important to note that some methods may also harm beneficial insects or plants, so it’s best to consult with a pest control professional before taking action.

Understanding Neem Oil And How It Works As A Pesticide

Neem oil is derived from the seeds of the Neem tree and contains several compounds, with azadirachtin being the most active. This compound is responsible for reducing insect feeding and disrupting the growth and development of immature insects. It also acts as a repellent and can suffocate soft-bodied insects and mites by coating their bodies with oil.

Neem oil is most effective against the immature stages of insects, but it also impacts adult feeding. Some target pests include whiteflies, thrips, caterpillars, aphids, mealybugs, spider mites, and immature scales. Neem oil can also be used to manage some fungal diseases by preventing the germination of fungal spores and impeding their penetration into leaf tissues.

When using neem oil as a pesticide, it’s important to note that it will not cure already infected plant tissues but helps limit the spread to healthy tissues. In this capacity, it’s most commonly used against powdery mildew.

To use neem oil as a pesticide for spotted lanternflies, it’s important to remember that it takes time to impact their eating abilities. Neem oil does not kill spotted lanternfly nymphs or adults immediately, so it’s important to be patient and continue using the spray until the pests have left the area or their symptoms lessen.

Another way to use neem oil as a pesticide is to soak the soil around each plant in your garden. Formulate organic neem oil pesticides in the same manner as you would for a foliar spray and pour 2 to 3 cups of the mixture around the base of each plant. This can be repeated every 2 to 3 weeks until the insects have left the area or their symptoms lessen.

How To Properly Apply Neem Oil To Control Spotted Lanternflies

When using neem oil to control spotted lanternflies, it’s important to apply it properly to ensure its effectiveness. Here are some steps to follow:

1. Choose the right time to apply: It’s best to apply neem oil early in the morning or in the evening when bees are less active. This will help prevent accidental harm to beneficial insects.

2. Prepare the solution: Mix 4 teaspoons of neem oil with 2 teaspoons of liquid soap and a gallon of water in a spray bottle.

3. Identify the affected areas: Look for areas where spotted lanternflies are present and identify which parts of the tree or shrub they are feeding on.

4. Spray directly onto the pests: Using a spray bottle, spray the neem oil solution directly onto the spotted lanternflies, focusing on the areas where they are feeding.

5. Repeat as necessary: You may need to repeat the application every few days until the infestation is under control.

6. Be patient: Remember that neem oil takes some time to work, so it may take a few days or even weeks for the spotted lanternflies to die off completely.

By following these steps, you can effectively use neem oil to control spotted lanternflies without harming beneficial insects like bees and butterflies.

Other Methods For Controlling Spotted Lanternflies On Your Property

Aside from neem oil, there are several other methods you can use to control spotted lanternflies on your property. Here are some options:

1. Insecticides: Insecticides can be effective at killing both nymphs and adults of the spotted lanternfly. However, it’s important to use insecticides that are registered by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and approved for use on the site. Use only insecticides that are effective but least-toxic to avoid harming beneficial insects and birds.

2. Tree removal: The main tree that spotted lanternflies are attracted to is the tree-of-heaven (Ailanthus Altissima). Chopping down these trees aggressively can help deal with current problems and reduce the possibility of future infestations.

3. Sticky paper + hose method: This method involves wrapping wide sticky paper or several strips of thinner sticky paper or inside-out duct tape around the bottom of the tree. Then, spraying the bugs with water or air, or knocking the tree limbs with a broom so they fall off the tree. The pests will scramble to climb back up the tree, and they will get caught on the sticky paper.

4. Ovicidal action: Based on studies done in 2018 and 2019, some insecticides have ovicidal action against SLF eggs. Paraffinic and/or mineral oils such as JMS Stylet oil, Damoil, and Lesco Horticultural oil are effective in killing up to 75 percent of treated eggs.

5. Homemade spray: A homemade lanternfly spray made of liquid soap and water is another simple way to kill lanternflies. Combine 1/4 cup liquid soap to a quart of water plus a tablespoon of vegetable oil in a spray bottle. The soapy water will suffocate and kill the bugs.

6. Shop vac: If you have Spotted Lanternflies on your house, a shop vac will suck them up. Use water and Dawn dish soap in the reservoir to kill them.

It’s important to note that each method has its own pros and cons, and you should choose the one that works best for your unique situation. Additionally, it’s essential to remain vigilant and adapt your action plan if your situation changes. Remember to never leave sticky paper unattended, because it can harm beneficial insects and birds and other wildlife.

Conclusion: Using Neem Oil As A Natural Pest Control Solution For Spotted Lanternflies

In conclusion, neem oil is a safe and effective natural pest control solution for spotted lanternflies. It is relatively harmless to beneficial insects such as bees, butterflies, and ladybugs, making it a great alternative to traditional insecticides that can be toxic to both pests and beneficial insects.

While neem oil may not kill spotted lanternfly nymphs or adults immediately, it does impact their feeding abilities, leading to eventual starvation and death. It’s important to note that patience is required when using neem oil as a control method, as it may take some time for the pests to die.