University of Maryland Extension

Spotted Lanternfly

spotted lanternfly
Photo Credit : Holly Raguza  

The Spotted Lanternfly, an Invasive Pest on the Move in Pennsylvania, Delaware, Virginia and New Jersey. Moving Closer to Maryland!

  • In Pennsylvania, spotted lanternfly has spread into 13 counties.
  • A press release issued from the Delaware Department of Agriculture dated November 20, 2017 confirmed the finding of spotted lanternfly in New Castle County, Delaware.
  • Spotted lanternfly was reported and confirmed in Frederick County, Virginia as of January 10, 2018.
  • ****Spotted Lanternfly: What to Look For - Photo Gallery**** Become familiar with the different life stages of this pest. 
  • Spotted lanternfly 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.

The spotted lanternfly is an invasive insect that attacks grapes, apples, stone fruits, pines, and other species. This non-native invasive pest was first detected in the United States in 2014 in Berks County, Pennsylvania but is spreading to other counties in the state. Maryland residents should be on the lookout.

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 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)

Additional Resources

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