What Eats Lanternflies? All You Need To Know!

Spotted Lanternflies are a recently found pest in certain places of the World. They are mostly found in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Maryland areas. 

Apart from these places, Lanternflies are mostly found in China, Vietnam and India 

It was spotted for the first time in 2014 in Pennsylvania. It is an invasive pest that causes serious threats to trees around your home and neighbourhood. 

They live on trees and on various other plants that have sap in them. After consuming the tree’s sap, these spotted lanternflies release a liquid called “honeydew”.

This liquid is extremely harmful as it attracts other dangerous insects.

A large group of lanternflies are even capable of killing a crop of fruit trees. 

Here we will discuss What Eats Lanternflies? And let you know what hunts these pests.

Get a picturesque description of what a spotted lanternfly looks like!

A spotted lanternfly usually hatches in Spring and is born wingless as a nymph. Once their process of moulting as an adult is complete they start to fly.

As nymphs, they are usually black with white spots. They are of the same size as that of an ant. As they start growing their body slowly starts acquiring red colour. 

They lay mass eggs all over winter and they hatch in the month of Spring. A lanternfly mass egg consists of 30-50 eggs at one spot. 

Any Idea Of What Do Lantern Flies Eat?

What Eats Lanternflies
Any Idea Of What Do Lantern Flies Eat?

Before knowing What Eats Lanternflies, you need to know what lanternflies eat!

Spotted Lanternfly’s favourite food is sap from a variety of plants. And the trees that they are mostly found on are ailanthus trees. These trees are also known as trees of heaven.

It also feasts on walnuts and grapevines. However, it will always eat sap from any hardwood trees. Their least favourite plants are pine. 

Know What Eats Spotted Lanternfly

Do spotted lanternflies have predators that hunt them? Usually, insects do not have a lot of predators, and that is why they can easily multiply and threaten various kinds of crops.

The bright red wings of these insects threaten other predators that these might be potentially poisonous as a result they stay away. However, there are certain predators that prefer eating the spotted lanternfly.

Who Are The Spotted Lanternfly Predators?

Let us now look at What Eats Lanternflies. They are here-

  • Praying Mantis- Praying Mantis occupy very little space just as much as a spotted lanternfly. A lanternfly usually doesn’t notice a praying mantis sitting nearby.

They are bright green in colour so they easily camouflage with the leaves of the plants. A praying mantis sits and waits for the lanternfly. Then with one swift grab, it catches the fly.

Lanternflies hop more than it flies, as a result, they don’t have much chance to escape from its grasp. 

  • Chickens- Chickens have an image of eating various kinds of insects. And they definitely eat spotted lanternflies.

Usually, lanternflies live on trees, so it’s not possible for chickens to hunt them there. Although, whenever a chicken spots a lanternfly on the ground it pecks at it with its sharp beak. 

A chicken can gulp a whole lanternfly in one go. 

  • Garden Spiders- Garden spiders and Spotted lanternflies share the same habitat. And therefore they are one of the major predators of lanternflies.

A garden spider spins a complex web in between the stalks and branches of plants. Once a  spotted lanternfly gets trapped in the web, the garden spider injects its venom which paralyzes the fly. 

The spider might eat it right then and there or might wrap it in its silk to consume it later.

What Eats Lanternflies
Who Are The Spotted Lanternfly Predators?
  • Gray Catbirds- Gray Catbirds are also well-known predators of spotted lanternflies. These birds are found in meadows, thickets, trees and so on. They share the same habitat with lantern fireflies. 

They frequently hunt spotted lanternflies and can swallow a fly in one go.

  • Garter Snakes- Garter snakes are one of the most dangerous predators of rodents, fishes and insects. They are very well known to eat spotted lanternflies.

These snakes are found in gardens and even on trees where they can easily hunt lanternflies.

These are some of the lanternfly predators that are known to hunt them almost every time in their natural habitat. 

How Do Praying Mantis Eat Lanternflies?

Praying mantis are well-known predators of lanternflies. Praying mantis also resides on trees. They hide very well as they are also green in colour. It gets very difficult for the spotted lanternfly to spot the mantis.

A mantis sits and waits for the lanternfly to come closer to it. With one swift blow, it grabs the fly using its spiked front legs. The mantis eats the lanternfly using its sharp mandibles that easily cuts the fly’s skin.

The fly hops more than it flies, as a result, it has very few chances of escaping from the mantis’s clutch. 

Do You Know What Eats Lanternflies In China?

Lanternfly’s predators don’t really change from one geographical place to another geographical place. There are similar predators of lanternflies in China as there are in other places of the world.

Here is the list of predators who prefer eating lanternflies all over the world-

  • Praying Mantis
  • Chickens
  • Gray Catbirds
  • Garden Spiders
  • Yellow Jackets
  • Wheel bugs
  • Garter Snakes
  • Koi Fish

However, it is also to be noted that in China a natural enemy of the Lanternfly is found. A species of tiny wasps are known to lay eggs inside baby spotted lanternflies, which in turn kills them. 

Even though they don’t eat them, they do kill lanternflies.

How Do Spiders Eat Lanternflies? 

What Eats Lanternflies
How Do Spiders Eat Lanternflies? 

All kinds of spiders do not eat lanternflies. It is just the garden spiders who are popular predators of lanternflies. 

Garden Spiders and Spotted Lanternflies co-exist in the same habitat. And it makes them easier for them to hunt these flies. 

The spider spins its web very carefully between twigs and branches of the tree/plant. Their webs are generally circular in shape and they are big enough to catch more than one fly.

As soon as the spotted lanternfly gets trapped in the spider’s web, the spider quickly injects venom into its body that making the fly immobile.

The spider then based on its appetite consumes the fly either immediately or at its own convenience. 

FAQs.

1. What birds eat lanternflies?

Very few birds are known to hunt and eat lanternflies. Out of many only Chickens and Gray, Catbirds are known to eat Spotted Lanternflies.

Although chickens do not live in the same habitat as that lanternfly they still hunt them. Whereas, grey catbirds live on trees so it is easier for them to hunt these lanternflies.

2. Do birds eat lanternflies?

Yes, only a few birds eat spotted lanternflies. Only chickens and Gray catbirds are known to eat lanternflies. 

3. Do chickens eat spotted lanternflies?

Yes, chickens are known to eat spotted lanternflies. Although lanternflies are found on trees and plants, whenever a chicken finds a lanternfly on the ground it pecks at it with its sharp beak and immediately kills and eats it.

4. What attracts lanternflies?

Spotted lanternflies are largely attracted to almost all hardwood plants. However, their special source of attraction is- Ailanthus Altissima.

Apart from them, they are attracted to-

  • Rose plants
  • Grape Vines
  • Black Walnut 
  • River Birch
  • Willow
  • Sumac
  • Silver/Red maple trees.

To Wrap Up

Thus, in our article, we have tried to provide you with all the information about the spotted lanternflies.

Most importantly we have made an attempt to let you know What Eats Lanternflies! In this article, you will find a list of predators that eats spotted lanternflies. 

Also Read: How To Tell If Cauliflower Is Bad: Know The Signs, Shelf Life, And Storing Methods!

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