Spotted Lanternfly: Volunteer Banding Program

This presentation describes how volunteers should place bands on trees and enter their data.
Spotted Lanternfly: Volunteer Banding Program - Videos


There is an official volunteer program where residents use sticky bands to kill spotted lanternfly.Volunteers band only tree of heaven (Ailanthus altissima) on their own properties.They must complete training, and every two weeks they must change the bands and report the number of spotted lanternfly destroyed into a database maintained by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture.


John Baker

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- [Instructor] Hi, my name is John Baker, the Spotted Lanternfly Program coordinator with the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture.

Today we're gonna take a look at the Volunteer Banding Program that is being put together by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture and Penn State University.

The presentation will fall into two categories.

A short session looking at how to band a tree and a second half, which will be a little more involved, which will go over the data entry process that we ask all volunteers to do.

The Spotted Lanternfly Banding Program, we provide the equipment for that and that's what you see here.

That equipment includes a tree band, scissors, sharpie, push pins, and trap labels and we'll go over what all of that equipment is used for.

To band a tree, there's a few things that we want people to be aware of.

The first thing is that you should only be banding trees on your property.

Additionally, the only trees that you should be banding if you are with a volunteer program, is Tree of Heaven.

There's a very strong indication that spotted lanternfly strongly prefers Tree of Heaven, so that's what we want our volunteers banding.

Any tree that you band should have a diameter at breast height at six inches or larger.

To place the band on the tree, you want the band to be about three to five feet from the ground.

You wanna make sure that it is very tight against the tree.

If it is not tight against the tree, you have the possibility that the spotted lanternfly can get between the band and the tree and then that defeats the purpose of putting a band up.

You'll also wanna make sure that you have the sticky side of the band facing out so that way as spotted lanterfly crawl over it, they actually get caught in the glue.

Once you've wrapped the band around the tree, secure it with push pins.

You'll attach a trap label and you will have a trap number on that label.

I have found that it is helpful to first to label the trap label and then apply it to the band.

If you try to write on the band, the label as it's on the band, you're gonna possibly get glue all over your hands and this glue is messy.

So ensure that you label the label before you apply it to the trap.

What do you put on those band labels?

You're gonna wanna follow this numbering system.

All volunteers are assigned a volunteer number.

That'll be SLV and then a three digit number that is unique to you and only you.

In this example, what we're gonna do is pretend that somebody is volunteer 001 and for their first band it would be SLV001-001.

For the second tree that they band it would be SLV001-002 and so on.

Bands are replaced every two weeks.

Once you take the bands down, you will have to count how many spotted lanternfly are on those bands and you will report that information to our PDA website.

To count spotted lanterfly on the bands we have found that the use of nail polish or another kind of marking paint is helpful just to kind of paint them to make sure that you've counted them.

After counting, the bands must be disposed of and to dispose of the bands you can either just put them in a trash bag and dispose of them with your other trash.

If you burn trash on your property, you can just burn the bands.

So that's the tree banding process.

The next thing that we're gonna go over is the data entry process.

Data entry has to be done every two weeks.

That should coincide with whenever you replace your bands.

To report the data, you will go to the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture website.

You will click on Spotted Lanternfly.

That will take you to the spotted lanternfly homepage where you will click on the Homeowners button.

You will scroll down through that Homeowner tab and click on Volunteer Banding Survey.

If during the process of doing any of the volunteer work that you forget how to do it, there's also instructions there as well.

Click on Volunteer Banding Survey and that will take you to this page.

Click on Add Location and then there are some fields that automatically fill out and some that you will have to add.

In doing this, the ultimate goal is to record as accurately as possible from your tree bands.

The only information that we require is denoted by an asterisk.

We will go step by step through filling out this information.

The first thing that you'll have to fill out is your location name.

That location name is going to be what is specific to each tree band that you do.

You'll have to enter each tree individually.

So if you did five trees, you'll have to go through this process five times.

So for the first location that you do, it's gonna be your volunteer number, as well as that tree number that follows it.

So you'll fill that out.

If you know the municipality that you live in, please fill that out.

That is not required.

County is required, so please fill out the county that you live in and you can do that by clicking on the dropdown and selecting the appropriate county.

The next two fields are latitude and longitude.

Those are also required.

Please do not manually enter those.

We want to avoid any typos getting in or anything like that, that accidentally drops your point in Africa or South America.

So to avoid any typos, we have a tool at the bottom of the page and what you will do is you will type in the address that you are banding.

Once you type in that address, you will hit find location and it will geo code to the location that you have entered in for that address.

Once you've gotten to that address, you will want to zoom in, because as you can see here, it dropped that indirectly on a building and we did not put a tree band on that building.

So you will want to move your cursor to the location of the tree that you banded.

So you can see here that we've moved our point from the building to the tree and you can see that the coordinates have changed.

Once that is done and you are happy with the location showing where that tree has been banded, if you have any comments, please enter them there in the field for comments.

Then make sure you click Save.

If you do not click Save, all of the data that you've just entered will not be available and you'll have to reenter everything.

So far what you've done is have told us where your tree is, but you've not told us anything else, so you've only half way completed the data entry process so far.

The next thing you're gonna wanna do is after you hit Save you will click Add, which is next to the Survey Services and this is going to tell us what you've done to the bands.

We'll go step by step through what is required for these Survey Services.

The first thing that's required is your team name and that's going to be SLVOLUN and that's going to be the same for all of you.

The service date will load automatically to the date that you're entering the data.

Then you will have Service Type.

Service type is one of three things.

It's gonna be Placement, Count and Replace or Removal.

Placement is for the first time you hang the band on the tree.

As you are reporting your data, then on a biweekly basis, that is gonna be Count and Replace, and the last service is going to be Removal.

That's gonna be when the band is taken down for the end of the year.

Lastly, you're going to enter a count.

And you have to enter a count regardless of the service type.

So if you're putting in placements, what you have to then enter is a count of zero.

If you come back in two weeks for your Count and Replace and you have a count of zero, please enter it again.

If you have caught spotted lanternfly in your bands, please enter the appropriate count.

The other thing that you'll have to enter for service collector is either your name or initials.

Once you've done that, please click Save.

So you'll have to go through that process for every tree that you band.

So if you band 10 trees on your property, you'll have to do that for all 10 trees.

When you come back in two weeks, you'll only have to do some of the work that you've done previously, not all of it.

Again, you'll go back to the PDA webpage, go to Spotted Lanternfly, Homeowner and then you'll click on PDA Banding Program again and that'll get you to this page and this is where you wanna get to, so now what you're gonna do is enter those location means that you previously entered before.

You'll have to do these one at a time.

It is critical that however you entered them, and this is from the first time, that you continue to search for them that way going forward.

If you do not have them entered, if you search for them incorrectly, you will not be able to find your data.

So it is very important to be consistent with how you name your data and how you enter it into the system.

So you'll put in the first location name, you will hit Search and then that'll bring up the field that you're seeing here that has Location ID, Survey, County, Location Name, Lat, Long and State.

Click on Location ID.

And that'll bring up all of the information that you previously entered for that location before, as well as all of the survey services that you've done.

So now you will click Add, which is next to Survey Services and you will enter your data again for the Count and Replace that you'll be doing throughout the season or the removal at the end of the season.

And the information is all the same again.

Your team name will be SLVOLUN.

The date needs to be changed.

Please change it.

If you took the bands down and counted them yesterday, but you're entering the data today, just change the date to the appropriate date.

Service Type will be Count and Replace or Removal.

You will enter your count and you'll put your initials in for Service Collector.

So that is data entry.

Just some helpful tips.

It is very important to be consistent with labeling your bands.

Volunteer number and band number.

For every placement service, the band count will always be zero.

Bands are going to replaced every two weeks, but your band number remains the same throughout the season.

When adding a service whether it's count and replace or remove, you're going to want to search by the location name.

If you search the incorrect name, you will not be able to find it in our database.

If you enter SLV01-01 instead of SLV01-001, you're not going to be able to find it.

It's important that however you entered it the first time, is how you search for it every time going forward.

We have found that it is very helpful to record your bandings for future use whether it be in a notebook or maybe an Excel file that you keep on your computer.

So I wanna thank everyone for their interest in becoming a volunteer with the banding program.

Penn State and the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture will be available at any point if you have any questions with your data or banding program questions.


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