Spotted Lanternfly

Lycorma delicatula

Spotted lanternfly nymphs
Spotted lanternfly nymphs [Credit: Photo by Rkillcrazy (CC BY-SA 4.0)]
Spotted lanternfly 4th instar nymph
Spotted lanternfly 4th instar nymph [Credit: Photo courtesy of New York State Integrated Pest Management]
Spotted lanternfly
Spotted lanternfly [Credit: Photo courtesy of New York State Integrated Pest Management]
Spotted lanternfly
Spotted lanternfly [Credit: Photo by Walthery (CC BY-SA 4.0)]

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Host Plants:

On Crops: Over 70 trees and shrubs including tree-of-heaven (Alianthus), maple trees, black walnut, birch, willow, and grapevines.

Where Found:

Native to southeast Asia, this invasive pest is now found in many US states including Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Connecticut, Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, West Virginia, and Indiana. 


The colorful adults, seen in late summer and fall, have pinkish-gray wings with black spots, with bright red underwings. Immature nymphs are black with white spots, turning red as they near maturity.


Spotted lanternflies weaken plants with their feeding, which involves sucking plant juices through the bark. They also excrete sticky honeydew that attracts other insects and promotes sooty mold on cars, outdoor furniture, or plants growing under trees where they are feeding.

Preventing Problems:

US states where this pest has appeared have active control programs in place. Look online to see if your state has a reporting system for spotted lanternfly. Spotted lanternflies overwinter as eggs, which are deposited in masses on trees, posts, lawn furniture, tires, and other surfaces in late fall. Fresh egg masses look like putty, and later dry to resemble cracked paint. Use a plastic card like an old credit card to scrape the egg masses into a container, and then drown them in rubbing alcohol or hand sanitizer. Treat hard-to-reach egg masses in bark crevices with horticultural oil, mixed at label rates for dormant plants. You will not find every egg mass, because many are hidden. In spring, nymphs will hop or walk to find host plants, and crawl up the trunks to feed. Follow instructions to make a New Style Spotted Lanternfly Trap from Pennsylvania State University. Sticky bands will capture plenty of nymphs, but often nab non-target insects, too.

Managing Outbreaks:

In late summer and fall, you may see adult spotted lanternflies on buildings, posts, or other structures, as well as on sidewalks. Stomping lanternflies in your path is highly recommended. In infested areas where swarms are common, some people use wet/dry vacuums to gather the adults.


Grow a tree-of-heaven in a large pot and use it as a trap plant.

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