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Important Information About Spotted Lanternfly

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The following is a guest article written by Allison Medrano from CLIP Lawn Care. It is all about the Spotted Lanternfly – very important information for those of you that live in the areas Allison mentions.

You can contact CLIP Lawn Care through their website.


Take it away Allison!

Lycorma delicatula, commonly known as the Spotted Lanternfly (SLF), is a new, invasive insect that has spread throughout southeastern Pennsylvania since its discovery in Berks County in 2014.

SLF presents a significant threat to Pennsylvania agriculture, including the grape, tree-fruit, hardwood and nursery industries, which collectively are worth nearly $18 billion to the state’s economy.  This non-native pest attacks grapes, apples, stone fruits, pines, and other species.

SLF is on the move in Pennsylvania and now has been found in Delaware, Virginia, New Jersey, and most recently Suffolk Co. New York. It has also now been confirmed in Maryland.

  • October 25, 2018, Maryland Department of Agriculture Press Release: https://news.maryland.gov/mda/press-release/2018/10/25/first-spotted-lanternfly-confirmed-in-maryland/
  • In Pennsylvania, SLF has spread into 13 counties.
  • A press release issued from the Delaware Department of Agriculture dated November 20, 2017, confirmed the finding of SLF in New Castle County, Delaware.
  • SLF was reported and confirmed in Frederick County, Virginia as of January 10, 2018.
  • Become familiar with the different life stages of this pest (see below)
  • SLF females prefer to lay their eggs on the tree-of-heaven (Ailanthus) but will lay their eggs on any flat vertical surface, including other trees, stones, vehicles (moving them into other areas), outdoor furniture, and many others. Egg masses will hatch in the spring.

**Both nymphs (immatures) and adults of spotted lanternfly cause damage when they feed, sucking sap from stems and leaves. This can reduce photosynthesis, weaken the plant, and eventually contribute to the plant’s death. Additionally, spotted lanternfly feeding creates a sugary substance called honeydew. This honeydew, in addition to being attractive to ants, wasps, and other insects, is readily colonized by sooty mold, which can cause parts of the plants to become blackened and look unsightly.** 

If you live in Maryland and observe any egg masses or insects which look similar to this, please try to collect them, and inform the Maryland Department of Agriculture at (410) 841-5920 or DontBug.MD@maryland.gov as soon as possible (please attach photos if sending an email).

If you live in Pennsylvania, Penn State is conducting a survey to gather information from horticultural growers, field crop farmers, and forest landowners on the potential economic impact of the spotted lanternfly (SLF) on agriculture and forestry.

If you grow field crops, fruit crops, vegetables, nursery crops, Christmas trees, harvest timber, or tap maple tree, Penn State would like to hear from you.

The objective of the survey is to better inform us of potential damage by the SLF and help focus extension and research efforts on managing this pest. We want to find out what crops you grow and how concerned you are about SLF damage to various crops.

For those growers in the quarantine zone, we’d also like to know about any management practices you are using and any damage you might have experienced. The results of the survey will be used by Penn State Extension and researchers to fine-tune management advice for the SLF and help prioritize future research and outreach activities.

If you’d like to participate, the survey should take you no more than 10-15 minutes to complete. Click on the link to begin the survey: Penn State Spotted Lanternfly Impact Survey

Your survey responses will be confidential, and the data collected will only be reported in summaries. Your participation is voluntary, and you can decide not to answer a given question if you choose.

If you have any questions about the Spotted Lanternfly Impact Survey, please contact Jayson Harper by e-mail at jkh4@psu.edu or call 814-863-8638.

To stop the spread of spotted lanternfly, the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture issued a quarantine for counties where the presence of this pest has been confirmed.

Businesses operating in the quarantine zone must have permits to move equipment and goods within and out of the zone. Penn State Extension and the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture have developed this self-paced, online course to train designated employees how to comply with the quarantine.

Life Cycle of Spotted Lanternfly


Image from Ken’s Gardens

Summer Update: I applied bifenthrin with my sprayer and so far haven’t seen any signs of Lanternflies. I will update this post with further results as the season progresses.

Author: Matt Hagens

Matt Hagens

Hi, I’m Matt the owner of Yard Care Life. I love to be outside working on my lawn, planning my next project. I created this website to help people like you find the best products for yard care and great advice. Learn more about me and find me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.