What is the Spotted Lanternfly?
The Spotted Lanternfly is an invasive planthopper native to southeast Asia and first identified in Bucks County Pennsylvania in 2014 that has since traveled to Berks, Carbon, Chester, Delaware, Lancaster, Lebanon, Lehigh, Monroe, Montgomery, Northampton, Philadelphia, and Schuylkill Counties. The invasive insect feeds on agricultural goods such as apples, grapes, hardwood, and hops. The Spotted Lanternfly adult is approximately one-inch long and a half-inch wide at rest. The forewing is grey with black spots, and the wings tops are reticulated black blacks outlined.
How much damage can Spotted Lanternfly cause?
Spotted Lanternfly has the potential to cause a lot of damage to Pennsylvania's Agricultural commodities. They suck sap from stems and leaves. This can reduce photosynthesis, weaken the plant, and eventually contribute to the plant's death. Spotted Lanternfly can damage grapes by feeding on the vines and producing honeydew when the honeydew molds it can cause dieback or damage to the fruit.
It is now the time of year where Spotted Lanternfly adults began to lay egg masses. So please, look before you leave! Spotted Lanternfly adults frequently gather in large numbers and they are easiest to spot at dusk or at night.
Where can Spotted Lanternfly be found?
- Host Plant surfaces (tree of heaven)
- Lawn furniture
- Trash Barrels
- Tree Trunks
- Loose Bark
- Any smooth surfaces for egg masses
If you see Spotted Lanternfly:
- Scrape them from the surfaces
- Be sure to remove all seed-like black/brown eggs from under the wax coating
- Place the eggs into alcohol or hand sanitizer to kill them
- Collect a specimen to send into the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture's Entomology lab for verification
If you have traveled through a quarantine zone, don't forget to look before you leave!
For more information on Spotted Lanternfly please visit https://extension.psu.edu/spotted-lanternfly, www.agriculture.pa.gov/spottedlanternfly, www.aphis.usda.gov/hungrypests/slf.