Destructive Spotted Lanternfly An Increasing Threat

The destructive spotted lanternfly: Wings open and wings closed.

Be on the lookout for the colorful but treacherous spotted lanternfly (SLF). Relatively new to the U.S., it is an invasive insect from China that is known to feed on 70 different types of plants and trees. SLF adults emerge in July and are active until the first hard frost.

This insect was first spotted in Pennsylvania in 2014, and by July 2021 had spread to about half of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, eastern Ohio and Indiana.

Closer to home, the the SLF has been found in western Connecticut, parts of New York state, and on Sept. 29, Rhode Island reported a second credible sighting in West Greenwich, RI. This insect usually spreads by hopping rides on vehicles as they move from state to state.

The U.S. Dept of Agriculture has issued a thorough SLF Pest Alert pdf with information about the SLF and what you can do about it. If you see an SLF, take pictures and report it to New York State via its SLF reporting form. Scraping its grey egg masses from trees and man-made outdoor items is vital to slowing its spread. Egg masses can be double bagged and discarded, or placed in alcohol or bleach to kill them.

Indicating the significance of this dangerous pest, FIConservancy posted advance warnings about the SLF in 2018 and 2020.

Thanks for your help.