UPDATE: Pest Alert: The Invasive Spotted Lanternfly
UPDATE: Spotted Lanternfly has been confirmed in Warren County, NJ. Please be on the look-out for this threat to fruit and hardwood trees. Please report any sightings to the NJ Spotted Lanternfly Hotline at 1-833-223-2840.
May 14, 2018 – The Spotted Lanternfly is an invasive pest that feeds on Oak, Walnut, Tree of Heaven, Popular, and Grapes. It poses a significant threat to these fruit and hardwood trees. Recently found in Pennsylvania, adults have been found feeding and egg laying on Willow, Maple, Popular, and Sycamore, as well as on fruit trees like, Plum, Cherry, and Peach.
The nymphs and adults of the Spotted Lanternfly cause damage when they feed, sucking sap from stems and leaves. This can weaken the plants and eventually contribute to the plant’s death.
Adult Spotted Lanternflies are approximately 1 inch long and one-half inch wide, and they have large and visually striking wings. Their fore-wings are light brown with black pots at the front and a speckled band at the read. Their hind wings are scarlet with black spots at the front and white and black bars at the rear. Their abdomen is yellow with black bars. Nymphs in their early stages appear black with white spots and turn to a red phase before becoming adults.
Originally present in China, India, Japan, South Korea and Vietnam, the Spotted Lanternfly can spread rapidly when introduced to new areas. While the insect can walk, jump or fly short distances, its long-distance spread is facilitated by people who move infested material or items containing egg masses.
Spotted Lanternflies frequently gather in large numbers on host plants. They are easiest to spot at disk or at night as they migrate up and down the trunk of the plant.
Both nymphs and adults can cause significant damage to trees by feeding on sap.
Report your Findings!
If you find an insect that you suspect is the Spotted Lanternfly, please contact your Local Extension Office of the US Department of Agriculture or State Plant Regulatory Office to have the specimen identified properly.