Why you should care
Spotted Lanternfly (SLF) is a serious invasive pest with a healthy appetite for our plants and it can be a significant nuisance, affecting the quality of life and enjoyment of the outdoors.
The spotted lanternfly uses its piercing-sucking mouthpart to feed on sap from over 70 different plant species. It has a strong preference for economically important plants including grapevines, maple trees, black walnut, birch, willow, and other trees. The feeding damage significantly stresses the plants which can lead to decreased health and potentially death.
Where is SLF Found?
Spotted lanternfly was first discovered in Berks County, Pennsylvania in September of 2014. It is thought to have arrived on a stone shipment around 2012. It has since spread to 26 counties in Pennsylvania and is under a quarantine in that state.
Since then, spotted lanternfly infestations have also been found in several states, including Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Virginia, and West Virginia (view a map).
In September 2020, two dead spotted lantern flies have been found in Milford and Norwood, MA. The insects arrived in the state on materials shipped from Pennsylvania counties that are under a spotted lanternfly quarantine. Additionally, egg masses were found on trees in Maine. The trees also originated in Pennsylvania.
Where should I make a report?
If any indication of SLF is found, residents should take a photo or collect the specimen, and report any potential sightings of the pest using our VTinvasives online reporting form. Residents should look for large, gray insects, about one inch long, with black spots and red underwings, or inch-long, rectangular yellowish-brown egg masses covered with a gray waxy coating. Egg masses may be found on any flat surface. See slideshow of images below.
Learn more about SLF
Photo credits: Lawrence Barringer, Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, Bugwood.org