Recent visitors to the garden may have noticed these grey bands of tape around the tree trunks of our garden’s trees. This is a non-chemical way to try to control the spread of an aggressive invasive species that entered our region last year: The Spotted Lanternfly (SLF).
This species of insect is particularly damaging to trees and grapevines. So the members of Capitolo Community Garden began a campaign last fall to destroy SLF egg masses wherever they could be found by scraping them off tree trunks, and of course to kill adults whenever they were seen.
Fortunately, the SLF is not much of a flyer despite its name. It prefers to crawl and hop!
Photo credit: Walthery, CC BY-SA 4.0
Currently, we are in the nymph season for SLF’s and the tape bands around the trees are designed to catch the adolescent bugs before they can climb the tree’s limbs. These bands will have to be replaced periodically throughout the summer when they lose their stickiness. There are currently two rolls of duct tape in the garden shed if anyone wants to band the trees when the current tape needs replacing. This is a recommended, effective and toxin free way of controlling the spread of this species, and as Capitolo Community Garden aims to keep all of its operations organic and free from harmful pesticides and herbicides, it’s one we can all get behind.
Contributed by Jane Hill