The Spotted Lanternfly

The spotted lanternfly is native to Asia, but has recently been “spotted” in Pennsylvania, Delaware, Virginia as well as New Jersey. Although New York has not shown any signs of infestation, this could be due to their low numbers sneaking past detection. Sadly, we know its just a matter of time. They feed on over 70 types of plants, including fruit trees. The devastation brought by these invasive pests could seriously impact our agricultural health and fruit commerce.

Nymphs will arrive during the spring, usually around April. The nymphs can be easily identified by their spots and coloring. The nymphs will be black with white spots, but will turn red before changing into adults. The adults will begin to emerge in July, with colorful wings. The forward wings will be dark drown or gray with black spots. The rear wings will be red with black spots. The mid-wing will appear dark with a white stripe. They measure in about 1 inch long and approx. 1/2 inch wide. The adults will lay masses of 1 inch long waxy, brown eggs on anything they land on.This is how they are able to travel. They hitch a ride on transportable surfaces.  Including cars, firewood, stone, patio furniture, and tree trunks.

The nymphs emerge from their eggs and insert their mouthparts into the plant to feed on the sap. The swarm of activity leaves your plants vulnerable to other insects and diseases. The nymphs also secrete large amounts of honeydew. This attracts sooty-molds. The sooty-mold will then interfere with the plants ability to photosynthesize, severely impacting the growth and yield of the plant. This can devastate the amount of fruit a tree will produce, greatly harming our agricultural yield. The swarms of insects attracted to the massive amount of honeydew can prevent outdoor recreation and cover people, clothing, play equipment, and personal belonging in sticky residue.

 

Be on the lookout for signs of infestation:¹

  • Sap oozing or weeping from tiny open wounds on tree trunks, which appears wet and may give off fermented odors.

  • One-inch-long egg masses that are brownish-gray, waxy and mud-like when new. Old masses are brown and scaly.

  • Massive honeydew build-up under plants, sometimes with black sooty mold.

If you think you have spotted this pest creeping into your yard, call your arborist RIGHT AWAY. They can make an assessment and get your property treated as soon as possible. You may also photograph the suspected intruder or egg mass and email it to the DEC. Please include your address, with attention to landmarks, cross streets, and GPS coordinates to:

SpottedLanterfly@dec.ny.gov

You may also report the infestation to: www.NYiMapInvasives.org

As always, we here at Fox are committed to keeping your property happy and healthy.

Think Trees?

Think Fox!

¹www.dec.ny.gov/spottedlanternfly