The Spotted Lanternfly, Lycorma delicatula (white), an invasive planthopper, was discovered in Berks County, Pennsylvania in 2014. It is native to China, India, Vietnam, and introduced to Korea where it has become a major pest. This insect has the potential to greatly impact the Pennsylvania grape, hops and logging industries. Early detection is vital for the protection of Pennsylvania businesses and agriculture.
The entirety of Chester County is currently in a quarantine zone, along with other nearby counties such as Berks, Lehigh and Montgomery. When traveling out of the area, check your vehicle to ensure no Spotted Lanternflies are clinging to your vehicle to help stop their spread.
The Spotted Lanternfly adult is approximately 1 inch long and 1/2 inch wide at rest. The forewing is grey with black spots and the wings tips are reticulated black blocks outlined in grey.
The hind wings have contrasting patches of red and black with a white band. The legs and head are black; the abdomen is yellow with broad black bands. Immature stages are black with white spots, and develop red patches as they grow.
Signs & Symptoms
Trees, such as tree of heaven and willow, will develop weeping wounds. These wounds will leave a greyish or black trail along the trunk. This sap will attract other insects to feed, notably wasps and ants. In late fall, adults will lay egg masses on host trees and nearby smooth surfaces like stone, outdoor furniture, vehicles, and structures.
Newly laid egg masses have a grey mud-like covering which can take on a dry cracked appearance over time. Old egg masses appear as rows of 30 to 50 brownish seed-like deposits in 4 to 7 columns on the trunk, roughly an inch long.
What to Do
If you see egg masses, scrape them off, double bag them and throw them away. You can also place the eggs into alcohol or hand sanitizer to kill them.
For more information, please see the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture's Spotted Lanternfly page.